Jarrow landlord who turned pub into community kitchen during pandemic 'honoured' after receiving Covid act of kindness award

A South Tyneside landlord has been named as a winner of the Covid Acts of kindness community award after supporting the community during the pandemic.

Lee Hughes, 51, landlord of the Red Hackle, in Jarrow, was forced to close his doors in March 2020, but quickly turned his attention to supporting vulnerable residents in the community by preparing home cooked meals and delivering them free of charge.

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As Lee’s community kitchen began to grow, he created a menu with a different dish for each day - with curry Wednesdays and fish and chip Fridays proving a big hit.

Landlord of the Red Heckle, Lee Hughes

Lee was nominated for the award by the grateful residents he supported and is humbled by the honour.

He said: “I am humbled to have been nominated for this award. However, I want to explain that I didn’t do this act of kindness to achieve or receive any recognition. This was all done as an act of community spirit.

“It only started out as 20 meals a day but ended up being over 7800 in total! I’d like to thank some family and friends who helped out, my son Shane, my son Kieran, Peter and everyone else who was involved.”

The Covid Acts of Kindness Community Award last month to celebrate outstanding individuals in local communities across the region and is backed by seven North East local authorities (LA7).

Chair of the Association of Directors of Public Health North East and Director of Public Health for County Durham, Amanda Healy

Commenting on behalf of LA7, chair of the Association of Directors of Public Health North East and Director of Public Health for County Durham, Amanda Healy, said: “First and foremost I’d like to thank everyone who submitted a nomination. We were overwhelmed by the number of inspiring acts of Covid kindness we received from right across the region.

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“Our seven winners, aged from 14 to over 70 years-old, are a testament to the fact that no matter your age you can make a difference. Their varied acts of kindness demonstrate the power of the North East spirit.”

In November, all seven winners will be invited to their individual local civic centres to be recognised for their civic service to their local community.

To find out more about the award visit, www.beatcovidne.co.uk

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