Free lunch gesture for vaccine volunteers and clinicians at Burnley's St Peter's Centre

Businesses around Burnley and Padiham have rallied together to ensure there is such a thing as a free lunch, to volunteers and clinicians helping the Covid vaccination effort in Burnley.

By Dominic Collis
Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:50 pm

Former Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle rallied the businesses to sponsor Padiham catering company Simply Classic to prepare the hot lunches for volunteers and clinicians giving their time at the St Peter's Centre in helping to roll out the jab.

Since December 14th the health and leisure centre in Church Street has seen volunteers working round the clock to ensure vaccinations are done in a friendly environment.

Mr Birtwistle, who along with wife Kathleen gathered a 'Jab Army' for the vaccination effort, said: "I thought it was only fair that we should try and provide our volunteers and hard-working clinicians with a free lunch during their efforts.

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Businesses have rallied round to provide free lunches at the St Peter's Centre for vaccine volunteers and clinicians

"Due to the lockdown, there are less places to get food and refreshments so I thought something needed to be done. I approached companies I had contacts with from my time as an MP and I'm so glad they were all happy to help."

The St Peter's Centre has now vaccinated around 26,000 people since December 14th, starting with the oldest society and now offering jabs to the clinically vulnerable.

Dr Yasara Naheed, who is co-ordinating the ffort with Dr James Fleming, said: "It's a nice gesture to have these free lunches. Everybody has been working hard so it's a nice morale boost.

"We have eight volunteers per shift with shifts in a day running from 7-30am to 12-30pm and 1-30pm to 7-30pm. Depending on supply, this could be on any day of the week."

Chris Burt, the owner of Simply Classic, said his business had already established close working ties with boohoo and Burnley UCLan, and was happy to help.

The companies involved in sponsoring the meals are United Furniture, Barnfield Construction, Lomax Offshore Ltd, Riley Foods, Homes 4U, boohoo, Metro Metals, Alderson and Horan, the Calico Group, Positive Footprints the Landmark, RPC Lettings, Sweet Dreams Furniture, Howard Rigg Properties, BCW Manufacturing, Birchall Foods, and Fagan and Whalley.