Council finds S.M.I.L.E charity new home

Published: Friday, 10 May 2024

Havering Council has secured new premises for S.M.I.L.E LONDON AND ESSEX charity after they were forced to leave their previous location earlier this year.

Charity Chief Executive Officer, Maria Quaife, announced earlier this week (Tuesday 7 May 2024), the successful acquisition of a new, larger premises at 40 High Street, Romford. It followed a devastating eviction notice issued for their North Street hub in April.

She thanked Havering Council for their support, including the discounted rental rate and flexibility to allow access to the new Council-owned premises, ahead of the eviction.

Maria said:

"We are immensely grateful to the community for their incredible support during this challenging time.

“Through collective efforts S.M.I.L.E LONDON AND ESSEX raised over £40,000, which played a pivotal role in securing the empty Havering Council premises at a discounted rate.

"This generosity and solidarity have allowed us to not only secure a new home but also to enhance our capacity to serve those in need."

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“I am happy that the Council have been able to step in and help to secure alternative premises for Maria and the team, and very proud of the way the everyone has pulled together to help raise funds for the charity to continue to support our community.”

The new site, three times larger than the previous hub, will enable the organisation to expand its services significantly.

It will feature a private food pantry at the rear of the property, a larger charity shop to generate more funds for sustainability, and an exciting new drop-in café offering a variety of hot drinks, cakes, and affordable lunch options for low-income residents.

For more information about S.M.I.L.E LONDON AND ESSEX and its initiatives, please contact Maria Quaife at