The Heart & Soul Of Wagamama

It’s soul-warming when the community pulls together to make good things happen and we are always delighted when local businesses offer us their support. Wagamama.com have kindly donated meals to the shelter at Christmas for the past few years, which as you can imagine, have been gratefully received by our residents. We spoke to Ola, the General Manager at Colchester Wagamama to find out why they work with charities.

Where It All Started

“Our connection to CENS all started a few years ago. Being closed on Christmas Day, we knew we would have food left over. Our floor manager contacted CENS on Christmas Eve to offer help and we were delighted to be able to donate hot meals for everyone. Christmas is all about food, and what connects people better than a steaming hot bowl of ramen? Giving more to people who have less, creates a wonderful feeling – and it costs nothing to be kind. All staff at Wagamama are lucky to have jobs and food on the table. The least we can do as a team is to donate food to the homeless people of Colchester on the most emotional day of the year.”

A Belief In Equality

“Supporting charities is important to Wagamama. Kaizen is at our heart. Kaizen means positive change, and pushes us to better ourselves. Wagamama is all about green living, doing the right thing for our planet and creating healthy communities. Our latest initiative is ’project midori’. This focuses on recycling, reusing and producing less waste. We believe in equality, human rights and creating a safe space for everyone.”

“It’s important to build relationships with the local community.”

“We support several charities. A few years ago we worked with Age Concern. We delivered lunch, spent some time chatting to everyone, and later invited them to the restaurant where we organised activities to make items to raise money for the charity. We have also donated food to charities including Mind, British Heart Foundation and the NHS. Now that Covid restrictions have been lifted we would like to get more involved with charities. The pandemic created barriers and obstacles to engagement with the local community, so we have lots of catching up to do.”

Positive Change

“Homelessness is a huge issue in the UK and is not helped by a lack of resources and restricted access to help. Now, more than ever, people are struggling financially and are unable to meet even their basic needs – shelter, warmth and food. This needs to change and although we may not be able to change the laws, here at Wagamama Colchester we will do all we can to create positive change within our community.”