The ‘Knowing Newham Hero Hunt’ is a theatre show for children and their families about some of Newham’s hidden heroes. Created especially for Newham Heritage Month 2021 the show features stories about 6 amazing people connected to the borough. One of these people is Tee Fabikun.
In 1767, the Carpenters’ Company bought land in Stratford to build housing, schools, and social clubs for people working in the nearby factories. This greatly improved the lives of the workers and people living in East London, however during the Blitz, the Carpenters Estate was partially destroyed and only rebuilt in the late-1960s. Our research led us to some wonderful written anecdotes about the area and working life in the factories in the 1950s and 1960s.
Tee Fabikun is the founder of the Carpenters Café, located on the Estate, which aims to help members of the local community. The charity was founded in 2007. The chain Pret a Manger agreed to help Tee and started to give surplus food from their shops to the charity, after which other donors followed. Tee’s project rapidly expanded and received support from other volunteers and members of the community. The charity not only offers free meals and drinks, but also gives clothes, household items, books, IT training, and job search support.
From her base at the Carpenters Café, Tee provides a warm, friendly, and safe space to anyone who needs it.
Tee made us very welcome when we visited the Community Café during our research for The ‘Knowing Newham’ Hero Hunt and gave us her time to talk about how it started and what she loves about the estate.