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Andrew Mikhail, owner of the Eccleston Arms Bar & Grill, opened his doors to NHS and key workers, as well as the vulnerable and elderly, to make sure they can get basic necessities during the lockdown.
Andrew launched the service after concern about the virus led to panic buying in supermarkets, and huge shortages.
He said: “The whole community has been shocked and worried by the recent virus outbreak and we witnessed the panic buying in our local supermarkets as a result.
“Our regular suppliers had plenty of the much-needed essential items in stock but they don’t supply to retail stores.
“I realised that in doing this I’d be able to support my suppliers and staff and, at the same time, provide a service to our hero key workers helping the country through these unprecedented times and the vulnerable, who are finding it difficult to source items that they need.”
Hollywood star Russell Crowe also lent his support on Twitter, you can watch his message below.
If you are in the St.Helens UK area pic.twitter.com/Rp7n4yrcgz
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) March 31, 2020
He added: “‘My dad was a doctor and I know how hard these guys work. I barely saw him as a kid because he was doing so much for others, so I want to help the NHS at this time.
“Also, dad’s 83 now and, like him, many elderly and vulnerable can’t get out, so we want to support them.”
Comedian Johnny Vegas has been a surprise delivery man to some customers, and ex-Stilia front man Jack Bennett serenaded some of the elderly customers on their doorstep – and staff and a local chemist to cheer them up!
The local rugby team, Blackbrook Rugby Club, has also helped with the delivery service.
Andrew added: “We have had an incredible response to this, including tears of joy from nurses able to get essentials for their family after a long shift.”
The service has now been extended to anyone who feels uncomfortable leaving the house or is struggling to get a supermarket slot, although NHS, key workers, the elderly and vulnerable will still get priority.
All profits made from the essential items store will go to The Steve Prescott Foundation’, the charity founded by ex-rugby league player Steve after he was diagnosed with a rare and terminal cancer in 2006 to raise funds for the Rugby League Benevolent Fund, Christies Hospital and other special causes. It has been helping logistic and social media support.
Orders to the Eccleston Arms are made by phone (01744 881881) and staff prioritise all orders and deliveries – asking the elderly and vulnerable not to go to the store.
With the help of the volunteers from Blackbrook ARLFC, Steve Prescott Foundation ambassadors and celebrities like Johnny, it aims to get all orders delivered within an hour.
Andrew says: “It is important that we all follow the government’s guidance so we all can have one big party once this ordeal is over with.”
When is the essential items store open?
It will open for orders 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
11am-3pm – Those shopping on behalf of the elderly and vulnerable
4pm-12am – NHS/Key Workers
No Elderly or vulnerable to attend
People in this category are asked to stay at home and request a delivery service (where available) if they don’t have assistance available.
Bread, milk, pasta, fresh ready meals, tins, washing powder, tea, coffee & much more
Where will the profits go?
All profits after costs from both the Eccleston Arms Bar & Grill and The Bold Hotel will go to The Steve Prescott Foundation.
Who can shop?
-NHS Staff, Care Workers, Nursery Nurses, Social Workers, Emergency Services, Essential Key Workers (This list has been separated into eight categories, including health and social care, key public services – such as those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and journalists – and transport.
Those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery are also included, along with “administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response” in local and national government.
The Elderly and vulnerable: The over 70s and vulnerable should stay inside as per the government directive. Their helpers or support will be allowed to purchase provisions on their behalf to guarantee them healthy nutritional fresh food.
(Those using the service are asked to take ID for themselves or the person they are shopping for, eg. bus pass, blue badge.)
Call 01744 881881
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