Frank Wang has been selling coffee outside Bethnal Green tube station for 15 years. However, six months ago – after Frank’s electricity supply was cut off and his back-up generator stolen, he was forced to move locations, threatening his livelihood.
Many people observed that small traders like Frank are integral to the traditional, community-focused culture of the East End, and that his fight to keep his business running was one the whole community should get passionate about. So, in order to show their support, more than 100 locals showed up to protest about Frank’s eviction. And it worked! Now, thanks to the local community rallying together, signing petitions and lobbying local politicians, Frank has finally been granted permission to remain outside the tube station.
It’s not quite a victory yet, though. Facing the financial stress of being out of work for half a year, Frank was forced to sell his coffee cart in order to support his family. So his loyal customers have now set up a Crowdfunder to raise money towards new equipment, so that Frank can get up and running again within the next couple of months. The people behind the fundraising page say that since Frank is known for his generous spirit, regularly giving hot drinks and snacks to the homeless, he deserves our generosity in return, so he can continue to serve up coffee to the people of east London. Dig deep and get Frank back on his feet!