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Restaurants, school, and health care provider team up to feed frontline NHS heroes

PUBLISHED: 12:08 23 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:08 23 April 2020

Fresh out of the oven: Ali Guenaoui (Right), Simon Wainwright (Middle), and Chris Chryssafi (Left) with meals ready to be delivered to NHS staff Picture: Kingsley/Gordon Powles

Fresh out of the oven: Ali Guenaoui (Right), Simon Wainwright (Middle), and Chris Chryssafi (Left) with meals ready to be delivered to NHS staff Picture: Kingsley/Gordon Powles

Kingsley/Gordon Powles

Restaurants on lockdown are making and delivering food for hospital staff after a school opened its kitchen and a care home provider funded the mission.

Handing over the food at The James Paget Hospital Picture: Kingsley/Gordon PowlesHanding over the food at The James Paget Hospital Picture: Kingsley/Gordon Powles

Some 200 freshly-cooked meals a day are being supplied to Gorleston’s James Paget University Hospital during the cornonavirus crisis.

Kingsley Healthcare, which has homes across the country, is spearheading and meeting the cost of the lunches.

Meanwhile Gorleston restaurant owners, Simon Wainwright of SW1, and Chris Chryssafi of The Olive Garden, are lending their culinary skills voluntarily and using the kitchen facilities at Cliff Park Ormiston Academy.

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Kingsley’s hospitality manager and former restauranteur, Ali Guenaoui, said: “We know from our care homes what a challenging time it is for everyone.

Ali Guenaoui (Right), Simon Wainwright (Left) preparing food for NHS workers  Picture: Kingsley/Gordon PowlesAli Guenaoui (Right), Simon Wainwright (Left) preparing food for NHS workers Picture: Kingsley/Gordon Powles

“As a company we wanted to do something to support hospital staff working on the frontline.

“The staff are very busy and we wanted to give them something tasty to eat during their break.

“Today we are preparing Moroccan chicken on a bed of rice while on other days Chris has been adding some Greek flavours; Simon favours more traditional English dishes.”

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Mr Wainwright, who launched SW1 in Quay Road three years ago, said: “When Ali asked me to join him I was really up for it.

Ali Guenaoui handing the food to James Paget Hospital staff. Picture: Kingsley/Gordon PowlesAli Guenaoui handing the food to James Paget Hospital staff. Picture: Kingsley/Gordon Powles

“It’s great to be able to show our support for hospital staff at a time like this.”

Mr Chryssafi, who opened his restaurant in Gorleston High Street four years ago, said: “I had read stories on social media of local businesses helping the hospital by making face masks and shields and I was looking for something I could do myself.”

Procurement manager Julie Averies said: “Staff really appreciated and enjoyed a hot lunch today. It’s great that the support staff are also being recognised – it really boosts morale.”

Tamsin Poulter, Cliff Park principal, said the school was more than happy to help.

JPUH chief operating officer Joanne Segasby said: “We would like to thank Kingsley Healthcare for their extraordinary generosity in providing hot meals for our staff during the current pandemic.

“We’ve made sure that the meals have reached teams right across the hospital – and they have been gratefully received and enjoyed.”


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