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Firms lend a hand amid outbreak

BUSINESSES and organisations across the district are pulling together amid the coronavirus outbreak to offer help where they can to those in need.

Firms such as Salts Beer Factory are offering a home delivery service, while one business in Brighouse is starting to offer customers a drive-through option in order to minimise contact.

A kebab shop in Bradford is offering free meals to those in need, after seeing how some other firms were trying to cash in on increased demand for certain goods.

Furthermore the National Trust is to keep its gardens open, including those at East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley, for people to enjoy while observing social distances measures.

Sarah Holmes, set up zero waste shop, By The Gram, in Brighouse almost a year ago. The shop offers dried goods such as pasta, rice, grains, cereals, flours, herbs and spices, as well as household and personal products.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak and many customers needing to self-isolate or distance themselves from others, she has begun a new service.

She told the Telegraph & Argus: “I have created a drive thru ordering system.

“Customers can phone in their order and collect this order from my door. Then pay for the items by contactless payment. Therefore never leaving their car.

She added that paper bags can also be used for dried goods, rather than customers’ own containers to make things easier.

Nasim Ali, owner of Shinwari Chapli Kebab on Leeds Road, told the T&A that as a direct response to price hikes at other businesses, such as independent supermarkets in the district, he would be offer a free meal to those in need.

He said that if people could afford to pay, then they should, but others that could not were more than welcome to pop in and could eat for free.

He added that they had already served around 50 free meals since posting his offer on Facebook.

The firm’s post said: “It is outrageous to make profit in this bad situation instead of helping.

“Anyone who can’t afford food please come to my restaurant, Shinwari Chapli Kebab, and eat meal for free in the name of Allah.”

A Saltaire woman has assembled a team of volunteers to look out for her neighbours during the pandemic.

Clare Mawson, who lives in the village herself, posted a message on the Saltaire Next Door App calling on people to rally round during the crisis.

The response was immediate and she has set up a fleet of 28 volunteers who posted leaflets through residents’ doors with details of people who can help people with supplies during these uncertain times.

Each volunteer has leaflet dropped two or three streets each in a bid to help those in need.

Mrs Mawson has also received the support of a number of Saltaire shops who are offering an online service.

Her group has also set up a Facebook group, Saltaire Coronavirus Community Support Group.

Similar groups are in the pipeline for Nab Wood, Moorhead and Shipley.

Mrs Mawson says she has been overwhelmed with the response to the community group.

She added: “It’s a massive safeguarding operation as well. It’s about safeguarding the community and keeping the local businesses afloat.

“We want people to spread joy, not bugs.

“It’s been a challenge, I did not expect it to go as well as it did.”

For more information on the group, email saltairetogether@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, a district pub is offering a home delivery service after shutting its doors due to the pandemic.

Salt Taproom, located at the back of the Bingley Road, Saltaire pub, has shut its doors until the end of April, but has introduced the new service.

Anyone living in West Yorkshire can still get the pub’s Ossett bottles and Salt cans delivered direct to their door.

Punters who spend £50 or more on booze will receive next day delivery. Meanwhile, Salt Bar & Kitchen (the pub at the front of the Beer Factory) will remain open.

Offering free advice and guidance for businesses that are affected by the coronavirus, the community has representatives from IT and cloud services, communications, PR and marketing, business finance, law, air and sea freight and many more.

Nikki Towler, joint founder of the Coronavirus Yorkshire Business Support Group, said: “We wanted to let struggling businesses know that they are not alone in this difficult time and that by working together and supporting each other, Yorkshire is strong enough to overcome COVID-19.”

Find the group on Facebook and LinkedIn.

In addition a housebuilder which regularly gives donations to community groups is to solely help the over-70s for the foreseeable future.

Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire launched Community Champions with a view to helping community groups, charities and good causes across West Yorkshire with two donations of up to £1,000 made locally every month.

They now feel that, for the moment, elderly communities are in the most need of support, so from April donations will go to groups that work with and support the over-70s. This will continue until further notice.