The Squirrel offers free meals to NHS workers and vulnerable locals
Award-winning High Wycombe community pub, The Squirrel, is working hard to ensure that the local community is supported during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Partner, Jon Murray, is offering free meals to NHS workers and vulnerable people in the community every Wednesday. The meal changes weekly, and locals are nominated for a free meal via the pub’s Facebook page.
The pub, owned by Hawthorn Leisure, a community pub operator which owns more than 700 pubs across Scotland, England and Wales, decided to offer this service as Jon was aware that many in their community, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, are at risk of not being able to get hold of supplies as a result of social distancing measures. By offering a free meal once a week, the pub is hoping that they can show their support for those who are struggling, and also the NHS workers who are working so hard.
The pub is also offering a takeaway service Wednesday to Saturday, and a traditional roast dinner on Sundays.
Last year, the pub was ranked as the number one pub in Buckinghamshire, just two years after it was closed down and boarded up. The pub, situated on Squirrel Lane, closed its doors in November 2016 but was brought back to life in January 2017 by local couple, Jon and Tanya Murray, with the help of Hawthorn Leisure. A full refurbishment was completed, including an update of the pub’s exterior, the kitchen and the pub’s dining areas.
Since taking over, Jon and Tanya have introduced a full menu which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, express options, Sunday lunch, and a children’s menu. The changes have been so well received that the pub has been catapulted to the top of the rankings on TripAdvisor, making it the number one pub in the Buckinghamshire region.
Jon said: “The Squirrel is at the heart of the community, and we were keen to ensure that this continued despite the current situation. There are some in the community who rely on our meal delivery service, and we’re fortunate to be able to offer our support.”
Hawthorn Leisure CEO, Mark Davies, said: “We are so pleased that our partners are working with the community to support those in need. Thank you to everyone in the Hawthorn Leisure team for your hard work, please continue to pull together to support the community.”
Popular pub partners Tam and Maggie O’Hara and their team have scooped the Heart of the Community award at this year’s Best Bar None Scottish National Finals for their work at The Glen Mavis Tavern, near Edinburgh.
A message from Mark Davies, CEO, Hawthorn Leisure
Since the Prime Minister’s announcement on 20th March announcing the enforced closure of all pubs in the UK, our teams have worked tirelessly to ensure all pubs were closed on time and all Partners were communicated to. We are hugely grateful for the continued hard work of all our team.
Hawthorn Leisure has helped a Penrith businessman achieve his ambition of saving one of the town’s pubs from closure.