A mother and daughter involved in running pubs in Carlisle and West Cumbria are helping the elderly and vulnerable in their local area by offering to deliver them meals during the COVID 19 outbreak.

Dianne Irving runs three pubs and a gin parlour in Carlisle and another pub in west Cumbria. Her daughter Danielle works for the business as a commercial photographer.

The duo have been touched by the stories they’ve heard of some of their regulars who are staying indoors because of coronavirus, and have decided to offer a not-for-profit service where they will take their popular pub meals on the road and deliver them to those most in need.

Dianne said: “We’ve all got family, elderly relatives, friends and others in at-risk groups who we know are all very worried about the coronavirus outbreak. With all the news and advice which is all around us every day, some of them are understandably deciding to stay at home.

“We know how much many of those people really look forward to their regular trip to our pubs as a chance to socialise and to enjoy some good homemade food.”

Dianne said the idea came around while her family were chatting together. “We were having a chat among our family and thought there must be something we can do to help. So we thought why don’t we offer a service where we produce a meal at cost – we don’t want to make any profit from this – and Danielle and I will take it round to them.

“We were thinking it would be one of our dishes each day – such as steak pie and mash, or stew and dumplings – which are so popular with our regulars.

“If there are issues about us not seeing the people for medical reasons then we can leave it in a safe place for them, such as in the porch, or with a neighbour who is looking out for them.”

Dianne and Danielle will start the service with immediate effect from The Howard Arms in the city centre and The Crown in Stanwix.

They are asking those interested in having their lunchtime meal delivered to contact The Howard Arms (01228 648398) or The Crown (01228 512789) by 4pm on the previous day.

The meals will be delivered between 11am-1pm the following day to the local area.

If family, friends, or neighbours, want to order the meal on behalf of someone else, Dianne and Danielle are happy to accommodate such requests.

“All of our businesses have five-star hygiene ratings,” said Dianne. “We know that isolation for elderly people or vulnerable groups can cause its own problems, and we hope this way we are helping keep that element of routine which we know our regulars really value.

“We are lucky that places like Carlisle, and the whole of Cumbria, still have close-knit communities where people look out for one another, and we wanted to do our bit to help those less fortunate than ourselves.”

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