A SOLIHULL restaurant providing hundreds of meals to hospital staff has paid tribute to the community effort during the coronavirus pandemic.
Divine Restaurant, in Shirley, was only open for a year before the Covid-19 crisis, but instead of furloughing staff has stepped up contributions to health workers.
Manager Reed told the Observer: “It’s important we say a massive thank you to all those who have showed us continuous support during this pandemic.
“Our locals have continued to support us on the days we are open. We are aware we may take slightly longer preparing meals, but their support allows us to stay open and cater for the people who are saving lives each day.
“Hospital staff, the Sainsbury’s next door and our printers have also been superb and we could always lean on them when needed.”
Based in a former supermarket on Haslucks Green Road, Reed spent over a year on renovating the store into a local destination in Indian cuisine, opening in late 2018.
The fine dining restaurant has stayed open for takeaway collection but, as with many food service businesses, the coronavirus pandemic has delivered an opportunity to help out dedicated NHS staff.
Reed said: “As people are helping each other so much now, I knew staff at hospitals around Solihull were struggling to find time for a break.
“It’s hard for them to even get a chance to eat or drink, so I thought I could start with making lots of samosas and onion bhajis, placed outside the restaurant on Fridays and Saturdays.
“We started with 200 samosas for the people shopping at Shirley Sainsbury’s as they go past, and now we have gone on to provide curry and rice for staff on the wards at the hospital – our staff worked for 12 hours putting together over 500 meals which we hope have gone to all the workers at the hospital.”
“We couldn’t do it all without Jo and Louise from Solihull Hospital.
“They do a fantastic job with their colleagues at the hospital and they make it so seamless for us to be able to cater the food.”