August 22 2014 Latest news:
Shekha Vyas, Reporter
Saturday, March 1, 2014
A blind caterer who once served the queen a gin martini is now volunteering at Newham charities.
Eutal Spence, 79, from Manor Park, spends his Fridays cooking meals for the elderly at the Adult Resource Centre in Canning Town.
Before losing 99 per cent of his sight 20 years ago, Eutal Spence worked in top hotels around the country serving celebrities.
He said: “I met everybody. Trust me, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, I know them all.
“Even the queen; she was fantastic. You will never ever meet such a gracious person in all your life.”
Jamiacan-born Eutal draws on his career as a restaurateur to provide meals to the needy.
He said: “For the past four years I have cooked for about ten people, I have a chat with them about how they are coping and what difficulties they have.”
Eutal is also vice chair of DeafBlind UK in Romford Road and a member of the Older People’s Reference Group, a platform for over-50s to have a say on current issues.
Eutal said: “We talk to people who have lost their sight and propose ideas of how they can get out of the house.”
He said he believes that older people who give up on life are the ones that feel the least healthy.
He said: “It’s all psychological. If one realises that they have to do things for themselves it isn’t so bad, but if one sits down and has everything done for them, I think it is a mistake.”
Eutal jokes that he is older than some of the people he helps and hopes to continue encouraging others to be self-sufficient.
He said: “As long as I have health and strength it is so far so good.”