A restaurateur has made a generous gift of £5,000 to help support key workers in the health service as they fight against Covid-19.

Yahiee Ahad, who owns the Raj Bari Indian restaurant in Sevenoaks, says he decided to make the donation after seeing first-hand how hard NHS staff and carers are finding things during the outbreak of the virus.

Despite the challenges facing the hospitality trade during the lockdown, the businessman felt moved to do what he could with the aid for NHS Charities Together.

He said: “We have a lot of NHS staff collect takeaways from us or order deliveries after a shift, because we offer discount to doctors and nurses who live locally.

“But since the lockdown started, this number has gone up. We see the nurses when they come to collect after a shift, and you can just see how tired they are, how hard they are working.

“I delivered to a nurse the other night just after she’d finished a shift, and even at two metres away, you could see the marks on her cheeks from wearing a mask.”

In addition to the cash donation, staff at the Raj Bari also produced tiffin boxes – a traditional Indian packed lunch – to be given to key workers. So far they have been presented to NHS staff in Dartford and to the fire service in Sevenoaks.

Acknowledging the pressure on small businesses during the ongoing shock to the economy, Mr Ahad admitted times were tough but said thankfully he had not had to furlough any of his staff at the London Road venue.

He said: “I hope we won’t have to, we have a very loyal client base, that has helped us maintain a good delivery operation, so I hope we can get through to the other side.

“It’s very difficult at the moment, because it’s a real struggle to break even each day, but I think people are realising the importance of socialising, and time together, and I think there will be a resurgence when this is all over.

“But we need our healthcare professionals to get out the other side too, and we will, because our doctors and nurses are the best in the world.”

The Raj Bari is currently offering a 50 per cent discount to the over-65s and to other key workers.

Source: Kent Online