Hotel boss pledges another 10,000 free hot meals for the NHS and front line workers

PUBLISHED: 12:16 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:16 05 May 2020

Philip Turner. Pic: submitted

Philip Turner. Pic: submitted

A former London banker-turned-hotelier is doubling the number of specially prepared ready meals to be sent to the front line.

Meals being delivered across the region by the Chestnut Group. Pic: submittedMeals being delivered across the region by the Chestnut Group. Pic: submitted

Philip Turner, who runs the Chestnut Group, together with donations from local businesses and the Food4Heroes charity raised £25,000 in 12 days. This enabled him to deliver food cooked in his pub and inn kitchens to staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, care homes and a Sue Ryder care centre.

MORE: Norwich book firm at risk as a result of coronavirus lockdown

Meals being delivered by Chestnut across the region. Pic: submittedMeals being delivered by Chestnut across the region. Pic: submitted

Because of the high demand, Mr Turner is planning to use a second kitchen in one of his 11 pubs and restaurants across East Anglia.

Mr Turner, who bought the Globe in Wells just before lockdown, had to close down all of his businesses because of coronavirus but launched the Giving Tree scheme, urging local businesses to donate to help cover the basic costs of cooking the food.

After reaching his initial target of 10,000 meals, he is now hoping to achieve another 10,000 – urging people to donate £25 which funds 10 meals.

Mr Turner said: “The impact of coronavirus extends beyond frontline NHS workers, so it feels right to increase our target to 20,000 meals. Our brilliant team of volunteers are working hard behind the scenes, cooking, packing and delivering meals each week, but we need your help to keep going.

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“Having personally delivered a lot of the meals to the hospitals and care homes in the region, I have seen first-hand the stressful conditions on the frontline – for a brief moment we can make their day a little brighter, this is the difference that donations to the Giving Tree can make to people’s lives. Thank you to all our donors.”

As well as the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Chestnut has delivered to Davers Court and Glastonbury Court care homes in Bury St Edmunds and the first meals to The Chantry, a Sue Ryder care centre in Ipswich.

Chestnut has also pledged to deliver 1,000 meals to support local communities in Newmarket and surrounding villages.

If you would like to donate, or know of any communities, care homes or hospitals that are in need of support click here

Meals for delivery. Pic: submittedMeals for delivery. Pic: submitted

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