17 June 2020
A Coventry restaurant which has served up more than 60,000 meals for frontline NHS staff has been recognised for its charitable efforts by the Pride of Britain Awards.
In a post on the Pride of Britain Awards Facebook page it said: "We'd like to say a big thank you to the Barn Kitchen in Binley Woods, who have fed 35,000 NHS frontline staff for free in four Warwickshire hospitals during lockdown."
The Barn Kitchen's staff are working for free to feed health workers on the frontline fighting coronavirus after closing to the public during the lockdown. So far they've raised nearly £7,000 and their team of 10 volunteers have worked around the clock to deliver 60,500 free meals. "We think that they are a true example of what community is all about," said the Pride of Britain Awards team.
The start of lockdown coincided with Barn Kitchen's first birthday and Mother's Day weekend. Kelly Iles, who runs the Barn Kitchen, was initially devastated – but then she turned the situation into an opportunity to help others. Using the restaurant's stock, she prepared hundreds of meals for staff at Warwick Hospital and University Coventry Hospitals.
Then, when the stock was used up, Kelly started dipping into her own pockets to meet demand and launched a link on her company website where people could donate to fund NHS staff meals. Along with the donations what helped spur Kelly on was the support from other businesses, including Soda Folk in Binley Woods, Booker, Britvic and Morrisons.
"We don't know what's going to happen with our business," Kelly said. "It's a nightmare but the morale of the company has been amazing and we have the same ten people, who are all working for nothing."
Kelly admits she has probably put in £5,000 of her own money to the NHS food project but doesn't see it as a big deal. She said: "I just believe if you do good, good comes back somewhere along the line."
Barn Kitchen's mission is to hit 100,000 meals. To support their good work, you can donate via the Barn Kitchen's Just Giving page here.
Thank you to Coventry Live for sharing this story.