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Restaurant set up by fundraising GP closes down because of Covid

PUBLISHED: 10:18 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:59 13 October 2020

The Mermaid's Slipper is closing down because of coronavirus. Pic: Mermaid's Slipper

The Mermaid's Slipper is closing down because of coronavirus. Pic: Mermaid's Slipper

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A Norfolk restaurant which raised money to help vulnerable children has shut its doors for good because of coronavirus.

Dr Julian Brown, pictured when he launched a smart card system to help elderly patients in West Norfolk.Pic: EDPDr Julian Brown, pictured when he launched a smart card system to help elderly patients in West Norfolk.Pic: EDP

The Mermaid’s Slipper, in Stalham, provided half a million meals for youngsters in need – donating profits and even tips to help some of the poorest children in the world.

Dr Julian Brown, a GP and diabetes specialist in West Norfolk, took over the venue last year and donated to the charity he set up called Health Amplifier, helping provide health services and other aid in Tanzania.

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But Dr Brown posted a message on the restaurant website, saying: “Due to the continuing coronavirus situation, we’ve had to sadly make the decision to close the restaurant and takeaway service.

“We would like to thank our loyal customers and staff for supporting us through the last few months.”

Dr Brown, senior partner at Litcham Health Centre, has also spearheaded local projects including, back in 2014, trialling a smart card scheme to help elderly patients.

His heart was in making the lives of others better through raising funds at the restaurant which launched a lockdown seafood takeaway service because of Covid. It had reopened in July for takeaway only.

Situated in an idyllic location on the Broads, the restaurant had also previously offered a successful afternoon tea service.

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Dr Brown previously embraced the carbon neutral ethic in to the restaurant, minimising food miles, and had started a scheme whereby for every bottle of wine bought they planted a tree in Tanzania.

Customers posted their sadness at the closure, one saying: “So sorry to hear this. I hope that we will see you back in business again one day. We have loved our meals from you both in the restaurant and our special takeaway hampers.

“Thank you all for the pleasure we have had from your meals and it was great to know we were supporting others too.”

Dr Brown set up Health Amplifier after visiting Tanzania in 2014 and seeing the need for better healthcare. Before Health Amplifier started, people had to walk more than 10km to access health services. Dr Brown realised the community needed a clinic and in 2015 helped set one up.

Now the clinic has more than 5,000 patients receiving free healthcare.


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