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Landlords forced to shut their pub launch fresh food boxes for NHS staff

Trina Lake and Bradley Richards with their fruit and vegetable boxes outside The Crown pub in Costessey. Photo: Trina Lake

Trina Lake and Bradley Richards with their fruit and vegetable boxes outside The Crown pub in Costessey. Photo: Trina Lake

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Landlords who have been forced to close their pub haven taken up a new role delivering vital fruit and vegetable boxes to NHS workers.

One of the fruit and vegetable boxes. Photo: Trina LakeOne of the fruit and vegetable boxes. Photo: Trina Lake

Trina Lake and Bradley Richards, who run The Crown pub, on Norwich Road in Costessey, closed the pub on Friday after prime minister Boris Johnson ordered all entertainment venues to shut their doors to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The decision came on the day the couple found out their wedding, planned to take place on August 1, would no longer be able to happen, along with their hen and stag dos.

But refusing to be knocked down by the setbacks, the pair have launched a new business initiative ensuring NHS workers and care staff can get their hands on fresh fruit and vegetables, which are supplied by wholesaler Easters.

Miss Lake said: “It’s not only helping the community but it also has an impact for us too because we are self employed and don’t get any sort of income when the pub is closed.

“Everyone’s struggling to get hold of fruit and vegetables and we saw everything on the news regarding the NHS staff not getting what they needed and we thought we would make some boxes up and take it to them.”

They said they were now running the system via orders, with NHS staff and care workers able to either collect boxes - which cost £20 - from the pub or have them dropped off at a location of their choice.

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The initiative runs from 8am to 6pm from Mondays to Fridays and 9am to 3pm on Saturdays.

And it has so far captured hearts in the community - the pair said one woman had come to the pub and said she wanted to donate £100 towards making the fruit and vegetable boxes for the NHS.

They include potatoes, apples, oranges, eggs, leeks and much more.

It is one of several similar displays of kindness around the city - the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital posted on Twitter to thank the Tesco Express store in Cringleford for donating snacks and treats for mums on the unit.

And a paediatric nurse shared a photo of bags packed with chocolate from TkMaxx and a ‘thank you NHS’ box from Langley School which had been donated to the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Norwich Foodbank posted on Facebook to thank those who had donated, continued to volunteer or offered financial gifts during what they described as a “very long week”.

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