A PUB forced to shut amid the coronavirus outbreak has stepped up to provide a “lifeline” for elderly people stuck indoors.

The Bevy pub in Moulsecoomb has set up a meals on wheels service to make sure pub lunch regulars living in lockdown don’t go hungry.

The co-operative pub jumped into action after closing under the Government’s strict new rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

A team of dedicated volunteers and staff now cook and deliver hot meals three times a week to make sure none of the pub’s elderly diners go hungry.

The scheme, known as “Bevy Bites”, caters for members of the pub’s weekly lunch clubs, which were set up to provide companionship, activities and a hearty meal for elderly people.

The Bevy’s Helen Jones said: “We’re managing to feed a lot of people who usually come to our lunch clubs for the elderly. We can still provide them a lifeline.

"We’re also now receiving lots of requests from local people with underlying health issues who are on their own and would be going without food if it wasn’t for Bevy Bites.

"A lot of these people are hard up, feeling very anxious and very isolated. This is our third day of delivering and it’s growing each time. We think the demand will be huge as more people learn about it. We want people in the area to know that if can’t get out of your house, you don’t have to go hungry.”

The pub has been working closely with local schools, churches and community organisations to put together a community response to the crisis.

Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) has joined with the pub in setting up a similar scheme, and is building up a reserve of frozen meals with help from the Brighton Food Factory, a not-for-profit social enterprise.

Mr Speight, principal at BACA, said: “When this project was suggested to us by The Bevy, there was a real enthusiasm among staff to ensure that BACA contributed to the community effort.

"We are lucky to have fantastic catering facilities and a true professional in chef Ricky Hodgson, who was willing to combine his vital role as head of Year Ten with the coordination of our efforts.

"While we are doing all we can as a school to support our students’ learning and wellbeing during this period, we know we have to also reach out further.”

The Bevy Bites team is appealing for urgent donations to ensure their good work can continue. Every £5 you give provides someone with a meal.

If you would like to donate, visit www.thebevy.co.uk/donate. And if you live in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean and you cannot leave your home, The Bevy can help you.

If you would like to receive one of these meals, or know someone who would, you can phone 01273 281009.

 At The Argus, we are championing the work of traders during the coronavirus pandemic as part of our #BackingSussexBusiness campaign. We are always interested to hear how the community is coming together in this crisis. If you know of a local business battling in these tough times and offering support to the local community, please get in touch by emailing laurie.churchman@theargus.co.uk.