Actor Sir Mark Rylance said Brixton would be losing a ‘vital friend’ if the store was to close (Lily Ford/PA)
The owner of an independent grocery store rescued by a charity fundraiser has said she is “completely overwhelmed” by backing from celebrities.
Hilary Waterfield, who runs Brixton Wholefoods in south London and set up the appeal, hailed the support received from Sir Mark RylanceEddie Izzard and Adjoa Andoh after Covid lockdowns and rent increases posed a threat to the shop’s survival.
The cause raised £30,000 in just one week after hitting its original £20,000 target in three days.
Ms Waterfield said a lot of the money will be used to build up stock and pay rent.
Brixton would lose a vital friend if we lost them
Sir Mark Rylance
The 68-year-old said Sir Mark, who has been a customer since the 1980s, encouraged her to appeal to the public after she bumped into him outside the shop one evening.
“I was talking to him about how things were… and he just said ‘Get customers to invest in the business. I’ll help you. Everyone will help you’,” she told the PA news agency.
Sir Mark’s donation message included his thoughts on why the cause is so important to him.
“I feel my good fortune with health is partly due to Brixton Wholefoods,” the actor wrote.
“Even recycling plastic bags, I first encountered at Brixton Wholefoods… They have been teachers and leaders in my life.
“Brixton would lose a vital friend if we lost them.”
Ms Waterfield also praised comedian and actor Izzard, who shared the fundraiser on Twitter
“I just always loved her and I love her spirit… It was just so kind and I’m so thankful,” the shop owner said.
She added that a £5,000 donation was made to the cause at the same time Izzard tweeted.
“You’re doing a little bit of detective work… £5,000 (was donated) around the same time she put it on her Twitter, so you can maybe think it was (her),” she said.
If you can, do please help save Brixton Wholefoods https://t.co/y6cpNvQqL4