VULNERABLE people living in the villages around Ilminster have kept well fed thanks to hard-working father and daughter team.

When Paul Young, a caterer who lives in Broadway, was left without work by the Covid-19 pandemic, the enterprising dad turned his talents to helping his neighbours.

And the new service took off, with elderly, vulnerable and locked down people in nearby villages making the most of Paul’s fantastic food.

He said: “I have been doing outside catering for 40 years, and all my bookings for this year just started being cancelled.

“At the beginning I thought it would only be a few to cancel, and then I thought it would not go on for long.

“But then for a few days we just had non-stop people calling up to cancel.”

With all his parties and weddings cancelled and the country in crisis, wasn’t sure how he could help at first.

“It was something I thought about, what could I do for people, because I felt helpless,” he said.

Then, Paul got the idea after delivering a small food parcel to some neighbours, and he visited Horton village shop owner Nina Jerez to see if she would help with stocking and supplying the food.

Paul added: “I started off with just a few meals and put it on Facebook, a small selection of homemade meals and homemade cakes for anyone feeling vulnerable, and it just took off.

“A lot of people thought it was a great idea but would we be able to deliver especially.”

So Paul looked up the Government’s official Covid-19 guidelines for selling and delivering food, and made it happen.

His daughter, Beth, also joined with making and delivering meals, and they are hard at work for 60 hours a week.

“I started doing this once a week to see how it went, and now we are up to twice a week,” said Paul.

“We send people the menu on Wednesday and say ‘this is what is going to be done for Friday’ and we put it on Facebook and email it out. Then we do another menu on Saturday for Monday’s meal.”

There was a challenge getting some supplies to start with, but now Paul is working with local company P B Fruits, of Ilminster.

The father and daughter team deliver up to 30 meals each time to residents across Horton, Broadway, Ashill and Ilminster.

Paul added: “What we have left over we give to Nina and she sells in the shop, because there are still people that go into her for meals on the other days.”

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