A fish and chip shop owner from Ipswich has launched a charity that is set to pump thousands of pounds back into local causes.
Ozzie Bozdag, owner of Codfellas in Chantry, has established Codfellas Chantry Charity which people can donate to via a collection box on his counter or at numerous local shops that have got on board.
The boxes are collected up on a three-month basis, with the first donation of £2,400 just issued to the local library to help towards setting up a soup kitchen and a community fun day.
Ozzie, who has owned the shop for two years, regularly delivers groceries to the homeless staying at a nearby hotel as well as elderly residents in the town who cannot get out. When his grandfather recently passed away, Ozzie wanted to step up his contribution.
He comments: “My grandfather has been involved in charitable organisations for many years. He went to three villages in Africa to help build a well for those that live there but who didn’t have access to clean water without having to walk 15km.
“On my last visit before he passed away, he said you’ve got a great community behind you, do something to start giving back to them, and that’s where the idea started.”
Ozzie ensures every penny collected goes to charity with any costs, expenses, bank or admin charges covered by his business. Which charities the money goes to is decided with the support of the whole community who vote on Facebook.
Ozzie adds: “When we collected up the boxes we thought there was about £1,900 but when we took it to the bank there was just over £2,400, we couldn’t believe it.
“Everyone has been so generous and the feedback has been amazing. We’ve had people coming into the shop thanking me for putting the community first. I had one gentleman come in and add £10 and another that gave me a brown envelope, which I had to wait until I had a witness with me to open! The support has been incredible. I just want to help as many local projects and charities as possible.”
Asked what his grandfather would have thought of the new charity, Ozzie said: “He would have loved it. Hopefully, I’ll have the chance to meet him in a second life and tell him all the things I’ve been doing since that day I left the hospital having made that promise.”