Help Masala Wala to buy shutters


Wow, our community ROCKS!!! We are well and truly blown away - never in our wildest dreams did we think that we would hit our £2500 target within just 15 hours of the campaign going live?! We really are bowled over, delighted, humbled and just so so grateful to every single person who's donated.

We mentioned in the original blurb (below) that if we exceeded the original target, then we would use any additional money raised to apply towards some artwork for the shutters. Our priority was to get the restaurant secured, but now we are in a position where we can also provide Masala Wala with a budget to make the shutters pretty! The more money we can raise for this, the bigger the budget Masala Wala will have to to get their shutters painted in a style that is fitting to both Masala Wala and the wider Brockley street art scene. In addition, there's a planning permission cost of £206, as the restaurant is in the Brockley Conservation Area. So we propose keeping the GoFundMe open for the time being so that anyone who would like to contribute to a budget for the artwork and the planning costs is able to do so.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone! Jane & Nicola xxx

Many of us in the South East London community will know of the much-loved family run restaurant in Brockley Cross, Masala Wala, which was set up by mother and daughter team Nabeela and Saima in 2014. As you may have read in the News Shopper recently (read here), the Masala Wala ladies haven’t had the best of years. In January, the restaurant had its window smashed in with a bin, then in April they were rocked by the devastating news that 29 year old founder Saima had stage 4 incurable cancer. Then last month their window was smashed in again in another attempted break-in.

As well as being physically very unwell due to the cancer and the treatment she was receiving, Saima also suffered from PTSD and panic disorder after her devastating diagnosis. Saima is now slowly coming to terms with her illness and is dealing with it very publicly by writing a blog about her experiences, "Curry and Cancer", which you can read at At times during the year, Saima has been unable to work at the restaurant due to the physical and mental effects of the cancer which has obviously impacted the business and led to additional unexpected staffing costs, and on top of that they were also left out of pocket by the break-ins.
GoFundMe Campaign
Saima is extremely proud of the stunning frontage she has created for Masala Wala and has to date been reluctant to buy shutters for the restaurant, as she wanted the frontage to be appreciated by everyone in its full splendour 24/7. However, after this year’s break-ins she has admitted that it’s probably time for a rethink as the risk of further break-ins, and the cost to the business that such break-ins entail, is too great.
The News Shopper article gave local resident Jane Martin, a loyal customer of Masala Wala, the idea of starting a fundraiser as a show of support for the restaurant. Jane teamed up with another local resident, Nicola Johnson, to launch this GoFundMe campaign - the aspiration behind the campaign is to see if we can show Masala Wala some big community love by giving them a special Christmas present from the community to round off their awful year on a more positive note. We are aiming to raise £2500 to buy and fit some shutters to provide the Masala Wala ladies with peace of mind and to secure the restaurant against future break-ins. If, by any chance, people's generous donations exceed the target, then we think it would be nice to apply any additional money towards some fitting artwork for the shutters (to soften the blow of having to cover up the beautiful Masala Wala frontage!)
We appreciate that the festive season is almost upon us, so not everyone will be in a position to contribute to this campaign. But if you are able to donate just a few pounds, and we manage to reach or even exceed our target, then we believe that this will be a fantastic display of community support for a much-loved independent local business.
Thank you to everyone in advance
Jane & Nicola xxx
  • Elaine Boardman
    • £20 
    • 34 mos
  • Alice Grahame
    • £20 
    • 34 mos
  • Nida Jehangir
    • £20 
    • 51 mos
  • Veronica Guardiola
    • £50 
    • 51 mos
  • Anonymous
    • £30 
    • 51 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Nicola Johnson
Ladywell, ENG
Saima Thompson

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