A FIRM has pledged to deliver free meals from its office canteen to 100 NHS staff and vulnerable people.

Shoreham-based communications company Focus Group set up the scheme to help health workers in the town and at Worthing Hospital, as well as elderly and vulnerable people living in isolation.

Meals are prepared throughout the week in The Hut, the firm’s in-house canteen.

Chef Stuart MacGarvie said: “We are keeping very busy preparing batches of food in the morning for local residents, while another goes out in the evening to NHS staff coming off shift, so they can take something home that is nourishing and nutritious.

“It’s one less thing for them to worry about.

“And we spend Fridays making sweet treats to keep people going over the weekend, with something special to enjoy.”

The company said it wanted to demonstrate gratitude and admiration of NHS workers and help those struggling to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Managing director Chris Goodman said: “With our own canteen facilities on site, it was an obvious decision to help our NHS heroes and those vulnerable in society stay well fed during this global crisis.

“We are involved with a great deal of charities and community fundraising day to day anyway, so there was no question about pooling our resources as a business and doing our bit.

“We hope it goes some way to making a difference during these difficult times.”

The scheme is already proving a big hit with NHS staff. The firm said one consultant paediatrician working at Worthing Hospital sent them a thank you note, which read: “Thank you for the supper provided at the end of another long week for us.

“It saved both me and my husband from cooking at the end of a busy, challenging week.

“I cannot tell you how much it meant to us. Thank you to all the volunteers.”

The scheme has been a community effort. Focus Group has worked with MPs and volunteer networks including the Adur East Lions Club, who have been delivering packages to elderly residents.

Volunteer Susan Saunders, from the Lions Club, said: “The offer from Focus to help came at just the right time for us.

“We had been checking in on our contacts to see if anyone needed extra help at this time.

“The people receiving the meals are so utterly grateful and delighted that a local business wants to lend its support in this way.

“Without this help, many wouldn’t be able to source food or eat healthy hot meals.

“We have worked with Focus Group on several charity projects previously and are so pleased to be working with them again in this new partnership.”

The company said the preparation and meal deliveries are being undertaken in a safe, carefully managed way.

The food is delivered in recyclable packaging and comes with a personalised positive message.

The firm said it wanted to continue spreading the word about the scheme to help as many people as it can.

  • 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 to do all it can in these tough times and/or offering support to the local community, please get in touch at laurie.churchman@theargus.co.uk or rose.lock@theargus.co.uk.