It is always heartening for charities to know they have the support of local businesses. One such business that has truly gone above and beyond in their contributions to both INS (Integrated Neurological Services) and the community is the Twickenham based, family run newsagents ‘Meet & Deep’, a warm and welcoming hub that has been serving the neighbourhood for over 30 years and which has certainly touched the lives of almost all those who have walked through its doors. 

INS has a particularly special affiliation with ‘Meet & Deep’ after a regular customer at the newsagents suffered from a stroke and was referred to the charity.

The family selflessly took it upon themselves to assist in whatever way they could, by either helping walk the client to their meetings (INS is only a few doors up from the newsagents), helping to carry their shopping home and even by helping with the client’s speech and therapy exercises.

The latter here is what Dee Patel found himself doing and when I met him last week for a chat, it is clear to see just what an impact his helping had had on both the client and Dee himself. “I would help with basic conversational skills…we would just sit across from each other in the shop and practice simple, everyday conversation…[the clients’] confidence improved dramatically”.

Dee said how rewarding the experience had been for him personally and how incredible it was to see the development and progress in the client, “I think I sometimes get more out of it …it gives me a real boost of positive energy”. 

Other members of the community have also been fortunate enough to benefit from the kind and caring nature of the ‘Meet & Deep’ family, with many going into the shop for just a friendly chat or someone to talk to, something which the family is more than happy to offer, “we always tell people they don’t have to buy anything, they can just come in for a chat. We will listen to their problems and try to help in any way we can”. 

After having been in this truly special shop for only half an hour, it is clear to see just how much of a positive impact it has on the local community. In our modern society it is easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of every day life and to ignore what is going on in our wider community however the actions of establishments such as ‘Meet & Deep’ remind us just how important it is to look out for one another and support those in need.

Marie de Rooy, Volunteer Community Journalist 

(Integrated Neurological Services

Article supplied by Robert McRae-Adams