From nursing homes to hospitals and from the Dougie Mac to isolated individuals in the community, staff from a North Staffordshire restaurant have been determined to help as many people as possible during lockdown.
Since March the owners of Roshni, in Cheadle Road, Forsbrook, have been feeding key workers free of charge as a way of giving back to the community that has supported them for 20 years.
Owner Muhammed Sami and head chef Muhammed Ali, known as Ali, batch cooked hundreds of portions of their well-loved curries complete with naan breads and rice.
Ali said: “We started by donating meals to the Royal Stoke but then realised we wanted to do more. So far we have visited seven or eight care homes as well as surgeries. Overall we’ve donated more than 700 meals all free of charge.
“A lot of people who are working tirelessly at the moment have been customers of ours for 20 years, so it is our way or giving back and saying thanks.”
Free meals have gone to places including Harplands Hospital, The Douglas Macmillan Hospice and Beech Lodge Nursing Home.
Ali said: “A lot of staff are working over and doing extra hours so they may not have time to cook themselves a proper meal. We want to help them in our own way – by feeding the city.
“As well as health workers we also wanted to look out for the elderly and vulnerable people around the Forsbrook area, so we have been delivering meals to individuals too. We are not thinking about the money, but thinking of those who may be suffering on their own.
“There’s a lot of elderly people in our area who have no family to look out for them, so we have stepped in to support them. A lot of them have been previous customers of ours who would come in for a meal.
“I recently had a request from one man who wanted us to deliver a meal to his poorly dad. I didn’t recognise the name but as soon as I got to his house I recognised his face instantly as he always used to come and visit us for a meal. It’s about giving back to those people.”
The team has now been nominated for an Our Heroes Award in the People First category.
Slowly but surely, some eateries across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire have been re-opening – albeit with new social distancing guidelines firmly in place.
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Roshni Restaurant recently reopened for delivery and collection and will trade six days a week from Tuesday to Sunday.
Ali added: “We feel very proud that we can give back to the community and make a difference. We’ve received cards and messages of thanks from the people we have delivered to, so we know that it is all appreciated.
“We have taken all the costs from our own pockets but it doesn’t matter – what matters to us is saying thanks and giving back.”
Readers who want to make a nomination for the Our Heroes Awards should email email@example.com with Our Heroes in the subject box.