The Covid-19 outbreak in the spring of 2020 has had a devastating impact – claiming lives and livelihoods. The hospitality industry as a whole shut down back in March, and places like Cornwall were particularly badly hit as a result.
We faced some really difficult decisions during that time, but one very easy one. We were asked to help deliver a meal scheme to feed local residents in our community who were finding things particularly hard. We were immediately keen to get on board and so we put it to our team, asking them if they would give their time for free – they answered with a resounding ‘yes, when do we start!’
And so, we got to work. During lockdown we prepared and cooked almost 1,700 delicious and nutritious meals, free of charge, for a wide cross section of local people who have been struggling due to the prevailing conditions. Recipients have been referred by the Fishermen’s Mission, local schools and community groups. The service was organised by the Fishing Animateur team in Newlyn and supported by Seafood Cornwall Training Ltd. The cost of the ingredients was funded by grants from the Fishmongers’ Company and Seafarers UK.
Ben says: “I am very proud to have been able to offer the facilities at the Tolcarne to produce the meals for the vulnerable amongst the community, and even more proud of my staff who have voluntarily given their time to help those less fortunate than ourselves during these challenging times.”
Liz Wilkin from the Fishing Animateur team had these kind words for us: “The staff at the Tolcarne have spent the last three months providing delicious and healthy food for free, for up to 40 people four nights a week. They have done this simply to help the community through a difficult time and without regard to the extra work that this has generated for themselves. All of the staff have been magnificent and I, together with the recipients, would like to express our enormous thanks for their selfless service and hard work”.
The meals scheme has given us a positive focus, bought the team closer together, and helped us keep perspective during tough times – it’s an experience which will stay with us. And now, on to the next challenge (but more on that soon!)