A Southport mum who owns a catering business is on a mission to provide free meals to NHS staff and other key workers.
Laura Walker launched her Laura’s Lunchbox catering van in February – just before the coronavirus pandemic struck the UK. She has been a carer in disabled care for over 10 years, and is still a part-time carer now.
But despite her fledgling business being hit hard by the crisis, the 27-year-old is now determined to help those who are on the frontline against the disease.
Laura, who has an eight-year-old daughter, a five-year-old son and a 15-year-old stepdaughter, said: “I opened my business on February 24 and four weeks later the schools closed and lockdown began so I had a forced closure.
“Whilst I am limited to what hours I can work, I want to give something back.
“I want to raise money to buy stock so I can provide free meals and drinks for our local key workers.”
Laura has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for the ingredients for her appeal. Laura will then take her Laura’s Lunchbox catering van to a site such as a hospital, a supermarket, a police station or a fire station for example, and treat people working there to a free lunch to say thank you.
She said: “I am aiming to give our NHS staff a free meal and also our local teachers who are still providing education for our key workers’ children, our local fire stations, our local supermarkets and so on.
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“Once enough money is raised for a load of stock I will pick from a list of places I have put together and park up and cook on location. It will be bacon or sausage butties or burgers.
“I will have my own gloves and mask etc and just cook until everyone’s been fed and watered.
“I will then keep doing whilst donations are coming in. Of course the NHS is the most incredible thing but I want to say thanks to other key workers like firefighters, police officers, shop workers, teachers etc. They all deserve recognition and a treat.”
Laura’s Lunchbox had only been trading for a few days when the coronavirus outbreak struck. But Laura is now back out working again, on a limited basis.
She said: “I started up again two weeks ago but limited hours at the moment. I’m doing Thursday and Friday evenings plus Saturday and Sunday mornings until around 3pm.
“I’m only doing deliveries at the moment. Once the kids are back at school I will be based back on Crowland Street where I was before lockdown.”
Right now she is determined to feed as many key workers as she can.
Laura said: “I just want to give something back to the local community really, all our key workers are working round the clock to keep us all safe in these awful, uncertain times.
“I feel they all deserve some recognition and the least I can offer is a hot meal and a drink, with the help of donations of course.
“If I can put a smile back on their faces and remind them they are appreciated then I’ll be happy.
“But of course I can’t do it alone. Any amount big or small will make a big difference. So thank you in advance.”
You can visit the Feed our local key workers Go Fund Me page here:
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