UP to 5,000 free meals will be distributed to vulnerable people throughout Oldham in the coming weeks and free accommodation offered to NHS staff and other key workers courtesy of two Saddleworth businesses.The gestures come from The White Hart at Lydgate and Dinnerstone in Uppermill whose staff have already donated more than £3,000 worth of tips from March prior to lockdown to charities committed to helping rough sleepers and the homeless.
Now, owner Charles Brierley hopes the public will rally round to make a success of this latest initiative.
In conjunction with Love Lydgate, Lydgate Brass Band contest, Saddleworth Round Table and the Great Saddleworth Get Together, more than 1,500 litres of ale will be made available over the Easter period.
The beer will be sold in 3-litre containers with a minimum donation of £4 a litre. All funds will go towards providing free chef-prepared nutritious meals.
Additionally, guest bedrooms will be made available at The White Hart free of charge for any NHS key workers, paramedics or police wishing to isolate from their families as they are caring for or transporting coronavirus patients.
There will also be a self-service canteen set up providing free evening meals and breakfast for the above guests – funded by Lydgate Brass Band Contest and Love Lydgate whom have pledged £2,000 and £500 respectively.
The initiatives have the backing of AgeUK in Oldham and Tameside, local authorities, the NHS and Greater Manchester Police.
The beer from The White Hart and Dinnerstone cellars has been gifted to Love Lydgate.
It will be sold via a drive-in and with a park and queue off-license in the car park of The White Hart.
All the correct health and safety procedures will be put in place to ensure social distancing is controlled, alongside offering contactless payments.
In line with government guidance only single shoppers and cars with one person will be permitted.
No-one will be able to go into the premises, drink or congregate on the grounds.
Charles said: “During what is a very challenging time for everyone, I felt we could help a lot of people in need in the wider community, preparing nutritious meals that just require re-heating.
“As a pub, we are closed but our bedrooms are there to be used by those who need them.
“We have had an overwhelmingly positive reaction from people in the surrounding areas, offering their support, driving home the fact that working collectively in the community will help us get through this.”
Beer will be on sale 12-4pm on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday in the car park of The White Hart.