Local homeless charities have had a lunchtime fish feast – thanks to award winning local chippy, Fish ‘n’ Fritz.
Let down by a coach party at the last moment left award winning chippy owner, Paul Hay with 45 portions of hot fish and chips dinners at lunchtime today (9th November) and no diners! But quick-thinking Paul hit the phones to local charities, The Lantern Trust and Bus Shelter Dorset, to provide a free feast to their clients.
Owner, Paul, said, “We welcome a lot of coach parties for lunch throughout the year, but on this occasion, the coach party had inadvertently booked us instead of a fish shop in Cirencester! They realised their mistake when they arrived at their destination and found they had empty plates. Meanwhile, here in Weymouth, I had their pre-ordered lunches cooked in time for their expected arrival and no customers!”
He continued, “But every cloud has a silver lining. We got straight on the phone to Emily McCarron from The Bus Shelter Dorset and Mike Graham from the Lantern Trust, to donate the meals”.
The surprise donation was well received by the charities.
Emily McCarron from The Bus Shelter Dorset said, “It was all aboard for a great lunch at The Bus Shelter Dorset thanks to Paul. We offer unique accommodation with tailored support which provides local rough sleepers with shelter, warmth, community and today, a hot surprise lunch”.
Mike Graham from the Lantern Trust said, “We raced down to the Fish ‘n’ Fritz to collect the meals and serve them to our delighted clients. It certainly brought a smile to everyone’s lips. Our charity provides hot meals for around 80 people a week and donations are always welcome. Today, no one went hungry and our clients had a welcome feast thanks to Paul”.
Fish ‘n Fritz, Market Street, Weymouth was named as one of the UK’s 50 Best Fish & Chip Takeaways 2021 –. And they are no strangers to charitable giving either. Earlier this year, they donated fresh fruit and vegetable boxes to the Weymouth Foodbank.
Owner Paul Hay concludes, “It was our pleasure to make the donation. We like to help out the local community whenever we can”.
Fish ’n’ Fritz
Are nationally recognised for producing fish and chips of the highest quality in a first-class environment. Fish ‘n’ Fritz has always gone to great lengths to source the finest and freshest ingredients and their very popular batter is a trade secret, a recipe developed and perfected by them over a long period of time.
The Lantern Trust
The Lantern is an independent registered charity founded in 1983 to help vulnerable and marginalised people in the Weymouth & Portland area. The Lantern aims to bring a lasting change in people’s lives through a dedicated service meeting people’s practical, emotional and personal aftercare needs. Their ethos is one of social inclusion, with an aim to break cycles of disadvantage and dependency. Central to all they do is their Coffee Bar sessions that run Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm. These sessions are open drop in’s and act as a hub to the rest of their services. In addition, they provide hot meals each day, see over 390 new clients each year and provide a safe space for people to begin to rebuild their lives. As an example, today, Tuesday 9th November, they provided a full hot meal service to a lot of hungry people.
Average attendances during their coffee bar sessions range between 15-42. Working closely and professionally with other agencies is a key aspect to the Lanterns work which has been established over many years. Their customers have a varied range of personal concerns, including mental health problems, offending behaviour, addiction, homelessness and all personal crises. They aim to meet these needs through a wide range of services, including advocacy, crisis response, front line practical assistance and welfare benefits, housing & accommodation support and help through the Lanterns assisted rent deposit scheme. The ethos throughout their work is to empower the individual and at all times encourage personal choice and responsibility. The building of lasting, trusting relationships with customers are the foundations on which all their work is built on, the Lantern continues to be a place where laughter, friendship and hope are very apparent.
The Bus Shelter Dorset
The Bus Shelter Dorset is a registered charity set up to relieve the need of people sleeping rough in Dorset by providing shelter, warmth, food and support.
The service offers around the clock 365 days a year support from a converted double decker bus in the Beach Car Park. The mobile shelter houses 14 beds for rough sleepers where they can sleep safely and off the streets. The charity works alongside other agencies to encourage bus users to move into suitable accommodation and to change the cycle of homelessness in order to integrate back into society. People who use the bus are able to have access to a postal address to apply for work, register with a GP and make benefit claims
The bus operates 7 days a week and is run mainly by volunteers in Weymouth, Dorset.
Rough sleepers who have a local connection to the area are referred by Julian’s House outreach team, The Lantern Trust or Weymouth & Portland Borough Council.