1946. Lola Idris-Debayo
Lola Idris-Debayo, from London, founded the ‘Lolo Foundation’ 15 years ago, following her own personal experience of homelessness, to provide frontline homelessness support across London and aid for vulnerable families.
Lola, originally from Nigeria, experienced homelessness when first moving to the UK, and from this, decided to set up her own foundation to support others in similar positions, particularly for other people who have moved from another country. Twice a month, the foundation hosts food donation points, providing food for hundreds of people, including Lola’s home-cooked Nigerian meals. Lola has also expanded the foundation to Nigeria, where four times a year it provides humanitarian assistance for some of the most vulnerable people in Lagos, with as many as 700 people provided with food in a single day through their efforts.
“I am the founder of Lolo Foundation which is a Non-profit organisation that is aimed at providing food and essentials for the homeless people and vulnerable families in the UK.
“I have been on this journey with my family for 19 years and my journey is a personal one as I was once homeless when I came to the United Kingdom. My partner met me on the street and to see one of our boy’s play football for England was one of the biggest awards God gave us. Now to be nominated for this award is an amazing grace. I am very excited and extremely humbled to accept this award.
“I would like to dedicate this award especially to my partner of 30 years, as he celebrated his birthday on the 22nd of June, and to my family and friends who have been with me on this journey and to all the organisations who have made it possible for me to continue to do what I do, such as Fareshare and Nando’s. And finally the homeless people in London who have allowed me to feed and eat with them regularly. Our main goal for the foundation is to continue to cater for the homeless people and vulnerable families around London and also to create awareness about homelessness and ways to bring the causes of this situation to its minimum.”