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  1. Watching the amazing community effort happening right now in Wigan and beyond to ensure the vulnerable members of our communities get the supplies they need is truly amazing. Offers of free food and a smile to people self-isolating, special arrangements for the elderly and carers at super markets, free coffees and more for our wonderful NHS staff, and an abundance of people offering their time to help others make us realise that the majority of people will step up in a crisis.
    We have been quiet lately, but you can be assured that we continue to support our community through working with other community groups and our council and that will continue for as long as we are needed.
    We have been thinking (it can be dangerous when we get our heads together!) one sector that we feel is suffering in silence at the moment are our self-employed. I (Shirley) have been self-employed for most of my working life and know how difficult it can be for many small businesses and self-employed people. Many of us go without to ensure our staff are paid first, we don’t get sick or holiday pay and despite what people often think, the cash you hand over to that plumber, carpet fitter, decorator, small shop doesn’t end in their back pockets, there are overheads and tax to pay for them too.
    I have been following the Chancellors rescue measures carefully and was pleased to see that he didn’t forget the self employed (well with a reminder from business groups!) However, there is a wait. Payments for our self employed will not come through until June. This may cause hardship for many families, so we have decided to offer some help in the only way we know how.
    If you are self-employed or and struggling or are worried about the coming weeks, we are offering our food hampers to you at no charge. All we ask is that once this crisis is over you support us in some way, however you can. You may want to send some cash or offer your services, purchase our hampers or attend our bistro nights…you choose.
    To access this service please Direct Message us, tell us a little bit about your business and how many are in your family and we will contact you with a time to collect your hamper.
    Your hamper will contain some essentials, meat, fresh veg and fruit, milk and a few treats too.
    Please share
    Thank you

  2. fullsizeoutput_12a7

    What amazing but exhausting weekend!

    Last year we were asked to cater for a wedding in Wales, after much deliberation and talks with the team at Fur Clemt, and despite the venue being a two and a half hour drive away we decided to take the booking.

    Since then we visited the venue twice, so we knew what to expect and to iron out the details of the day. Over the last few weeks, we have been stockpiling food in the freezer so we could provide a quality service.

    It's was like a small military expedition getting us, the food and the equipment over to Aberdovey, inevitably some things got 'lost' on the way, in particular, the paper plates! But we managed to arrive safe and sound and settle down for the night ready to get started in the morning. We planned a leisurely morning, meeting up for breakfast to fuel us for the busy day ahead. The ceremony would be at 1.30, so we had plenty of time.

    An idyllic venue was already set up on the village green overlooking the beach; the ceremony was to be held on the beach and then the festivities in marques dressed beautifully to reflect the lifestyle of the Bride and Groom...beautiful...and then.............

    Despite the weeks of blistering heat, the coast was hit by gales, the marques and their contents blown down! Devastation!

    And yet...(being witness to what happened next was a real privilege). Word went around the town and family, guest and community came together to rebuild the venue in the more weatherproof village hall.

    Tables and chairs arrived, followed by flowers, crockery, cutlery, room decorations, bar, drink...tablecloths found their way to an industrial dryer, tables seatings were hastily redone, bunting hung, paper lanterns strung and sanity restored. It was amazing to watch and be a part of. Finally, teas and breakfast sandwiches appeared, and people could relax a little knowing that Bride and Groom would after all get the wedding of their dreams and still there was time for nails to be polished.

    For our team, we found our working day started earlier than anticipated and our workspace reduced dramatically, but we had hot water, cookers and enthusiasm so on with the show. On the plus side, we didn't have to transport the food from the kitchen to the beachside location which had been a niggling concern on the weeks leading up to the big day.

    I couldn't have asked for more from the team on the day. Brendon got the van with the food, equipment and male volunteers there down the winding roads in one piece. Katy came for the day from her holiday leaving husband Jon looking after three children. Rose took the 'basis' accommodation in good cheer. Jan kept us all upbeat, Kris was his usual hard working self. James was...James! At one point I thought he'd been drinking!! And Dave...long-suffering husband of mine ploughed through the work, networked and promoted us like a pro and even unblocked the sink! They all worked tirelessly with few breaks to get the canapes ready and then to ensure the main meal was served on time. Lots of clean plates came back so it must have been good and plenty of compliments from the guests.


    But oh...! The washing up!! 150 plates, knives, forks and spoons, 150 bowls and that's not including the serving dishes and prep equipment. That's a lot of dirty dishes. Yes, there was a dishwasher, but it was a small one, that helped a little but still meant hand washing on a large scale was the order of the day.

    And then back to it for the evening buffet. With more washing up due to the missing paper plates!

    Our food was well received as was the 'Real Junk Food' message.

    So exhausted but happy we retired to bed with aching feet, creaking bones dodgy backs...I'm getting far too old for this game!

    We wish Kate and Dan every happiness.