In Coronavirus Funding Impact Stories, Funding Stories, Reducing isolation & disadvantage

Project: Working with Chesham and Amersham restaurants to deliver free meals to key workers and vulnerable residents
Grant: £5,000
Fund: NET Coronavirus Appeal (more info)

Sizzler Express are one of the seven restaurants making meals for the community

The Big Friday Night Community Takeaway was set up in response to the COVID-19 lockdown. A group of ordinary local people wanted to find a way of thanking key workers for looking after everybody. They came up with the idea of giving people in Chesham, Amersham and the surrounding villages a free, restaurant quality meal every Friday night.

Co-organiser of the initiative Mark Rosales explained that, with local restaurants initially closed during the lockdown, they discovered that several furloughed chefs and restaurant owners were keen to volunteer their time and skills to help those in the community who were struggling.

With a £5,000 grant from the NET Coronavirus Appeal, The Big Friday Night Community Takeaway has been able to distribute 200-300 individual meals a week with the help of 7 local restaurants that have opened their kitchens to help their community. The team have delivered over 2,500 meals so far.

A local resident collecting their meal

Not only were meals given to key workers, but also elderly and vulnerable people and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The group behind the Takeaway were surprised to find that around 41% of the meals went to children whose families could not ordinarily afford one for them.

The Takeaway team have continued to feed the community on a Friday night beyond lockdown, with a group of around 30 volunteers preparing and delivering the food to each person.

On receiving their grant, Toby Friedner said, “the grant that Heart of Bucks have given will help keep this service going for another month and ensure that those people who rely on the Big Friday Night Community Takeaway for a hot nutritious meal once a week, can get it for that much longer”.


Watch the team behind The Big Friday Night Community Takeaway explain the work they’re doing – with the appearance of some local famous faces!