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Owner and chef at Knowes Hotel in Macduff helps Brighter Horizons provide fresh meals in coronavirus lockdown


By John Davidson

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Wayne Stewart, owner and chef at the Knowes Hotel, Macduff.
Wayne Stewart, owner and chef at the Knowes Hotel, Macduff.

A group providing nutritious meals to elderly and vulnerable people during the lockdown in Macduff has been singled out as a real Community Champion.

Local support organisation Brighter Horizons is providing the meals. A nearby chef and hotel owner is helping out with the cooking and businesses and individuals from the area are contributing greatly to the cause.

Jan Grant, who nominated the project along with Wayne Stewart of the Knowes Hotel in Macduff, said: “It really seems to have brought the community together, there are lots of people donating money to them to buy supplies.

“A guy round the corner from us has a little fishing boat and he sold his prawns and donated all the money to Brighter Horizons.”

Sarah Davis, one of the directors at Brighter Horizons, explained: “We’re making meals three times a week for older people who are shielding and for vulnerable families in the community.

“We have an industrial kitchen here which has allowed us to produce the kind of quantities that we need to, and it’s high quality meals with proper nutritional balance.

“They’re getting fish pie on a Monday – we’ve been really fortunate because we’ve had lots of donations in from local skippers who have given us fish. There are local veg producers who’ve given us tatties and carrots and all sorts of things like that too.

“Brighter Horizons has been on the go in this area for a long time and we’ve changed focus at different times depending on what the need is – and we realised that this is what is needed locally.”

Wayne, who took over the hotel business in 2017, admitted he was missing the normal routine but said it was the right thing to do when he was asked to get involved.

“My passion is the kitchen, the hotel, the cooking, looking after the customers and working in a team,” he said. “I’ve got 39 staff who have all been furloughed.

“This has been my motivation three days a week, knowing that it’s helping out the community, it’s helping out a good cause.

“At a time like this it’s not really about profit, it’s about doing your bit for the local community and businesses coming together to drive the initiative.

“The support we’ve been given locally by the suppliers and businesses and donations has been phenomenal.

“It’s good to be part of a team and support the initiative locally and it’s been well received, which is brilliant.”

Elsewhere, Barry Jarvis has been singled out as a Community Champion in Elgin. “He cares so much about people and the local communities and he always steps up to the mark,” his nomination said. “He checks on his friends’ mental health during lockdown, to see if he notices anything in their behaviour, and is always available to talk if anyone needs to.”

Audrey Graham and Mandy Howard have also been described as Community Champions for the work they are doing to help David Morgan with his home baking for key workers, which we reported on a few weeks ago.


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