Son pays tribute to loving South London dad, 51, who went ‘extra mile’ to get food to people during lockdown

The family of a South London father of three who ‘went the extra mile’ to make sure his community was fed during lockdown have paid tribute to him after he died aged just 51.

From his cafe Simply Delicious, Ed Djemal pitched in to keep his local community in Chipstead supplied with essentials at a time when supermarkets up and down the country were at breaking point.

On October 24, keen cyclist Ed was out on a ride with friends when he suffered a fatal heart attack in a cafe, later found to be the result of an undiagnosed heart condition.

READ MORE: Tributes to South London man, 26, who died after car hit fallen tree during storm on Halloween

Remembering his dad, Ed’s son Aydin Djemal, 25, said: “My dad was not a serious man at all, always laughing, always in good spirits, joking all the time.

“He was a big family man, he was very close to all of us. He was probably my best mate, I was very close to my dad.

Ed with his son Aydin, 25

“I used to be a professional athlete and he helped me cope and deal with a lot of the pressures of that.”

Ed was also a loving dad to Aydin’s younger sisters Nayla, 19, and Jayda, 23:

“He mentored my sisters as well through university and just growing up and doing life, he was very good for advice.

“He was a big person in the family, just someone we all went to.”

Ed was also someone with a passion for life, the outdoors and living life to the fullest, as Aydin explained: “He was very into sport he loved his road cycling.

“I used to be a speed skater and he got into that with me as a kid, so yeah he loved his sport. He loved fishing as well that was a really big hobby of his.”

Ed had been married to his wife Ferdi, 52, for over a quarter of a century, and the pair shared a beautiful relationship according to Aydin.

He and my mum had a lovely relationship they’d been married since they were 23 so they had such a great marriage.”

But Ed also had a huge impact beyond his immediate family and in the community of Chipstead in South London.

This was originally why the family’s Gofundme page raising donations to the British Heart Foundation was setup following Ed’s passing.

Aydin said: “The donation page was originally made because my dad had quite an impact in his local community in Chipstead.

“In lockdown when all the shops were struggling and people couldn’t buy milk and eggs and stuff he was supplying that from his cafe and selling it to all the old ladies or whoever needed eggs, milk, and fruit & veg.

“He just went the extra mile a bit for people in his community and I think they wanted to give back or show their appreciation to us because he had a big impact on those guys.”

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Ed’s Fundraiser has so far raised £4,325 towards the British Heart Foundation, who work to fund life-saving research into cures and treatments for heart conditions.

If you want to donate to Ed’s fundraiser you can find it here.

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