A charity will create more supported living accommodation for people with learning difficulties in Golders Green.
Special needs charity Kisharon hosted a gala dinner on Sunday night to help raise more than £700,000 towards the cost of running services.
Working in partnership with Jewish Community Housing Association, Kisharon will take over a property in Montpelier Rise to provide supported living accommodation for eight young people in three separate flats.
Following this, the charity will also redevelop its Hanna Schwalbe residential home in nearby Leeside Crescent.
Chief executive Dr Beverley Jacobson said: “It is very exciting that we are modernising and expanding our supported living facilities and there will be an additional 16 high quality units added to our services.
“Can you imagine the feeling of young people who had no expectations for the future to get the key to their own home? That is something incredible, that I would want for my own daughter.”
The news received the thumbs up from the audience and from comedian and actress Meera Syal who entertained 600 Kisharon supporters at the dinner in Bayswater.
Guests were also shown a video about Kisharon’s desire to change perceptions of people with learning difficulties.
Meera Syal, who starred in sketch show Goodness Gracious Me, said: “I think that Kisharon has to change perceptions to change society’s attitude through communication, understanding and integration –something that I think I’ve lived my entire life, and try to achieve in my work.
"One of my main survival methods has been humour and I think humour is one of the most powerful weapons, because you can’t hate someone who makes you laugh.”
Kisharon chairman Philip Goldberg said: “We have raised over £700,000 so far from this fantastic evening towards the £1.7m of voluntary income that we need to raise this year to keep our services running.
“We are greatly encouraged that the level of individual giving has risen substantially this year as we need to bridge the gap between the available local authority funding and what it actually costs to provide these life-changing services.”