The team at Charter House in Burnley have been providing meals for those who need extra support during the coronavirus outbreak and, with the generous support of local businesses and volunteers, including community hub, Burnley Together, have recently been able to expand their facilities, enabling them to provide even more meals.
When they first began cooking free meals for those who may otherwise struggle to access food through various reasons, such as a lack of support network, shielding, self-isolation, disabilities, illness or financial issues, the number was approx. 60 meals a week.
This quickly escalated as the need grew; on 3 June, the Charter House team delivered their 10,000th meal in the community and these numbers continue to rise on a daily basis.
They soon recognised that they needed to expand and install more specialised, industrial equipment in their kitchen area as the pre-existing space was only ever initially designed for light domestic use. The additional demand meant that they had to find a way to tailor the premises to suit their new way of working.
The Charter House team contacted Burnley Together for support, alongside putting out a public appeal for help on their social media pages.
They have since been overwhelmed with the response. Donations included equipment from MKM Building Supplies, CEF in Nelson, Fielden Factors in Waterfoot and Carpet Market. Ring Stones, Avon Electrical Ltd, Rawtenstall-based plasterer, James Megarity and DEPHER Burnley all offered to donate their specialist skills and time to help ensure the project could be finished in a timely manner with minimal disruption to the service.
The team also create packed lunches for anyone who needs them, including children who are being temporarily home-schooled due to school closures, and have been gifted bread donations from Warburton’s to help manage the large demand.
Jason Smith, Manager at Charter House, said: “I am overwhelmed by the response we have received and am delighted to see so many people and businesses offering their support. They are seeing that this is worthwhile way to donate their time and energy to support others in their community and really are helping make a big difference.”
Alicia Foley, Community Investment Manager at Calico Homes, said: “Partnership working underpins the work carried out at Charter House. To see how different local businesses have come together to support the changes in the kitchen is incredible and really shows how Burnley are working together to meet the needs of local people. Once again we can see the great kindness that is embedded across the borough. Partnership working and supporting one another is what Burnley Together is all about.”