Major Tom serves up free pizza for key workers

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Major Tom’s Social in Harrogate has cooked, donated and delivered more than 250 fresh pizzas to front line workers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Major Tom’s co-owners Lee Bellwood and Toby Smith gave away 200 pizzas to the Nightingale Hospital as it opened and on Thursday, 23 April, donated a further 60 to Station View care centre and The Cuttings extra care housing scheme, both of which are in Starbeck.

The Cuttings is managed by Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association and provides apartments and support for older and disabled people. It also hosts the community Food Angels service.

Station View, run by the County Council, provide step-up and step-down services to support people coming home from hospital and, where possible, to provide an alternative to hospital admissions. It also provides short breaks and day support for older and disabled people.

On Thursday, Lee began preparing the food at 8am in the Major Tom’s Social kitchen and Toby started the delivery runs from noon to 2pm.

Samantha Westwood, registered manager at Station View, said:

It was just fantastic. It was really good to boost morale at a time when everyone is working hard and doing brilliantly. The staff were so happy, you could see them all lift.

As no-one can go out for meals at the minute it was a welcome boost to get some food delivered. It helped to bring everyone together as well and created a lovely ambience for the afternoon. At the minute, all our staff are putting in 150 per cent and this provided a wonderful boost.

 

Sue Cawthray, CEO of Harrogate Neighbours Housing Association, added:

The pizzas were delicious and the staff feel appreciated. It was a real morale booster.

Lee and Toby have owned Major Tom’s Social since 2014.

Lee said they planned to do the pizza deliveries for various care providers on Thursdays to coincide with the “clap for key workers”. They also donated 200 pizzas over the space of two hours to the Nightingale Hospital when it was being built, which they want to do again.

The Harrogate Nightingale is currently closed and will only open if there is sufficient demand.

Lee said:

We are also planning to deliver again to the Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate if it needs the support. When they were building we donated and delivered 200 pizzas in two hours to the engineers, builders and key workers. It felt like the right thing to do as those people are risking their life to keep the country going. The least we can do is give them some hot food.

Toby added:

We have always seen ourselves as a community venue and during these weird and testing times it’s given us a perfect positive opportunity to get out into the local community and give something back by cooking and donating a load of pizzas to hardworking care workers and NHS staff at the Nightingale hospital. We will continue to donate our pizzas for as long as we can.

 

Richard Webb, North Yorkshire County Council’s corporate director of health and adult services, said:

Major Tom’s Social is a great independent café, bar and venue in the centre of Harrogate. It’s closed at the moment, but the team there are volunteering to deliver pizzas to support and thank key workers. They have delivered to the NHS and I’m delighted that they have taken time to provide pizzas to people at The Cuttings and Station View.

It’s great recognition for people in care settings and I’d like to thank Toby and Lee for all that they are doing.


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