Helping the county’s frontline heroes

Dining Out

Featured in:
May 2020

Fundraising is in full flow and firms are extending special support to those in need, as Boston aims to keep its key workers safe and healthy for the months ahead.

Local fundraising initiatives are helping to make a difference to the life of key workers and staff at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital. Among the first to offer help with hot meals and food parcels delivered to the staff on the front line was Mo Alexander, owner of the Raj Palace restaurant, who was prompted to launch a fundraising GoFundMe campaign after watching the crisis escalate.

“After witnessing online pleas for help from those working in our local hospitals explaining that they were struggling to source food during the nights, I felt an enormous urge to help,” said Mo.

“With emergency departments being so busy, their time is better spent on patients instead of trying to source sustenance for themselves. Fortunately, like-minded people were thinking along the same lines. I exchanged messages with Alison Marriott from the group SoS Pilgrim – Call to Action and she was a driving force that motivated me to go ahead. Alison has supported us by utilising her network to assist with contacts and spreading awareness.”

The Raj Palace restaurant is leading this initiative with meals prepared in their professional kitchen, and they have also partnered with other food businesses in the town, including Brunch, DoMuk and Shapla which are providing additional meals and food.

“Our NHS heroes do an amazing job and during these challenging, demanding and frightening times this is just our way of showing solidarity, gratitude and appreciation,” said Mo.

“An army marches on its stomach and while these meal packages will provide essential sustenance and ensure our NHS heroes are well nourished, they’ll also provide a much needed boost to morale, mental health and well-being.”
Mo and his team made their first delivery of 150 packages consisting of 50 meals made up of a selection of dishes, including chicken tikka masala, lamb balti, garlic vegetable curry accompanied by pilau rice and onion bhajis, together with dips and drinks.

These meals were distributed at Pilgrim Hospital, among A&E, Out of Hours, EMAS and Theatre staff.

“Seeing the smiles and gratitude on their faces filled me with a real sense of achievement and the morale boost that this one delivery provided was clear to see during what was evidently a very busy night with ambulances piling up with patients,” says Mo.

“The reaction from the public has been amazing and our local community has raised just over £800 so far and all this has been made possible by the beautiful community of Boston.

“With a target of £10,000, we hope to raise much more so that we can roll this out across the county and deliver these sustenance care packages to other areas of the NHS, as well as Lincoln County Hospital and Grantham and District Hospital too.”

If you are a business that wishes to participate, are able to volunteer, or a hospital trust that wants support, please contact:

Alison Marriott, founding member of the hospital campaign group SoS Pilgrim – Call For Action said: “We are supporting Mo Alexander in his appeal; he is co-ordinating this and we are providing financial support to the GoFundMe campaign, as well as encouragement and help with spreading the word.

“We were already well known in the community for supporting the hospital, so by giving our backing and encouragement we could help get the meals scheme off the ground. Mo has done an amazing job and his focus on providing hot, nutritious food is vital to keep staff well, as they face the most difficult challenge of their careers.”

Alison has been impressed by how the local community has come together to support hospital staff, by providing much needed face shields, lip balms and hand creams and scrubs.

Rachel Bray, another long-time member of the group, has also been very active in fundraising for supplies of PPE equipment with a GoFundMe campaign which has already reached more than £3,000 in donations.
“I started searching the internet trying to find PPE that could be delivered quickly, but soon realised this was going to be a challenge,” said Rachel.

“After hours of searching my husband found a company able to deliver so I thought I needed to raise some funds. From the funds we had, I ordered 200 online and also contacted two local guys, Stephen Russell and Brad Bourne, who were also fundraising for 3D printers so that they could make face shields. We collected two prototypes which were taken into the Pilgrim and we will now be making as many as possible.”

Donations have also been used to supply hundreds of disposable car seat covers for hospital staff to avoid contamination, as well as buying two 3D printing machines and 1,000 acetate sheets for face shields, and tubes of Medihoney barrier cream, lip balm and thick head bands to help staff feel more comfortable.

Rachel says she is “just a cog in a big wheel of people who are helping” in a team which includes Tina Lewis and Gemma Houghton, who are co-ordinating scrub bags for staff sewn by a team of “amazing ladies”.
The group has also had hundreds of packets of baby wipes donated by various supermarkets and shops so that the staff can freshen up after they remove the PPE.

“I’m totally overwhelmed but not surprised that locals are coming together to help support those who need it most,” says Rachel. “Just as when we had the floods, our community always pulls together when it’s needed most. Our community is so kind and generous, it’s amazing!”

Fitness instructor Kellie-Marie Bryan, whose Nude Food Company specialises in “healthy” event catering is providing free meals to the elderly and vulnerable through her Gift A Meal scheme.

“I feel very strongly that if any business owner is still operating, they should be trying to do something positive in the community right now,” said Kellie-Marie.

“As soon as things started to go wrong, I dropped my prices to make it more available to more people who could be self-isolating and unable to get out at all.

“I offer 10 meals for £35, including delivery, which essentially means I am running a non-profit business for the foreseeable future, but I am happy with my decision. Anyone in total isolation will get priority delivery and an essential item drop-off if necessary.”

Kellie-Marie set up Gift a Meal, which enables others to buy a meal for someone vulnerable or a key worker.

“So far meals have gone out to a care home, NHS staff at Peterborough Hospital, residents of South Holland, Spalding Ambulance Team, vulnerable residents in Sleaford, as well as staff at Boston Pilgrim Hospital.”

More than 270 meals have gone out to date with many requests for Protein Snack Packages for NHS staff.

“It is so important that all key workers have a good diet,” says Kellie-Marie. “Not only to support their immune system, but for their energy levels as well. The way we fuel our bodies makes such a difference to the way we can function on a daily basis.”

For more information visit

Boston’s local community radio Endeavour FM has created a page on its website which features local information about coronavirus support, plus updates on air of what’s happening in the community every hour between 7am and 7pm.

“We are helping raise awareness on the radio of the numerous local coronavirus campaigns people are organising from raising money to buy PPE equipment, to a request for pillowcases that will become bags for staff to put their scrubs into, and general fundraisers,” says Dylan Taylor.

“We’re also passing listeners’ details, [those] who want to help or need help, on to the campaigners for community helpers. We’re offering a service to companies such as cafes or restaurants that may have had to adapt, as well as normal businesses who wish to communicate to their customers by reading messages on the radio and pushing our social media accounts to get the word out.”

For more information visit

Owned and run by The Boston Preservation Trust, Fydell House is a well-known Boston landmark and an important part of our history.

The Trust’s aim is to restore the house and preserve it for future generations, however the long-term future of Fydell House depends on much-needed donations, and there is also a call for more volunteers.

Funds from the Heritage Fund have resulted in a grant to get a full survey of the property done, as well as the essential preparation needed to be eligible for a much larger grant to restore Fydell House. The £10,000 from the fund now needs to be topped up by another £5,000 from donors.

Last year’s activity in the house was greatly increased with more visitors, and the Friends of Fydell House made a success of the coffee and catering mornings.

Lectures have also been a popular draw, as well as groups in the workshop and regular classes and there are also plans to build on relations with the neighbouring Guildhall, Shodfriars and Blackfriars as the cultural quarter of Boston gains momentum.

The Common Room has had a complete replacement of the lime plaster and is awaiting decoration, while the garden is in superb condition thanks to volunteers and the new mower provided by Boston Big Local.

Summer/autumn events are still planned at present, but please contact Fydell House to check for updates. Tel: 01205 351520 or email
16th August at 2pm: The Haven Singers present popular 20th-century songs, plus tea, £10.
27th September at 2pm: The Stamford Stompers will accompany a bring-your-own picnic.

We all might have in our mind’s eye our perfectly designed kitchen or bathroom but making that become reality needs an experienced, professional designer to take into account your lifestyle, home and budget.

Jess Cook is the kitchen design expert at Turnbull Kitchens in Boston. Their dedicated kitchen showroom is across the road from their Building Supplies branch off Hamilton Way. They also have a specialist Bathroom showroom which is part of the Plumbing and Heating branch on Norfolk Street industrial estate.

“I am just one of the experienced designers on each site offering bespoke design services for your next project,” said Jess, “with a free design and planning service, free home visits and traditional and contemporary styles available. There are working displays and a fantastic choice of finishes, tiles, appliances and accessories so that we can help you create your dream kitchen or bathroom.

“One of the recent projects I designed had a brief to create a functional kitchen out of multiple rooms in a lovely home in Woodhall Spa.”

Jess’s scheme utilised the Symphony Wexford kitchen painted in Platinum and Anthracite for its timeless appeal. The design is an update on the classic shaker kitchen and worked perfectly in this newly renovated house.

“Cabinets and the kitchen island have Symphony’s traditional curved styling,” said Jess. “They are matched by a worktop with practical built-in drainage grooves on both sides of the large Belfast ceramic sink. Tall double height cabinets form a generous pantry, making it easy for the cooks of the house to keep all those tins, jars and packets organised and accessible.”

Finally, NEFF appliances provided the latest in kitchen technology. An efficient overhead extractor was installed above the kitchen island – its slimline profile cleverly concealed by a lowered ceiling.

Jess’s customer, Tricia Bradwell, could not have been more delighted with the finished result: “I can highly recommend Jess and Tyron at the Boston branch of Turnbull Kitchens and Bathrooms. Jess designed our fantastic kitchen and was a joy to work with. Both members of staff were brilliant when it came to answering any questions. Definitely a place to go if you’re thinking of a new kitchen!”

You can find out more by visiting:

Address: Turnbull Kitchens, Hamilton Way, Off Nelson Way, Boston PE21 8TT
Open: Mon-Fri 7.30am–5pm, Sat 7.30am–12.30pm
Telephone: 01205 338555

Address: Turnbull Bathrooms, Norfolk Street, Boston PE21 9HG
Open: Mon-Fri 7.30am–5pm, Sat 7.30am–12.30pm
Telephone: 01205 357400


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