The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth have presented the Queens Hotel with a Freedom of the City certificate in recognition of the community work carried out during the first Covid lockdown.
This work saw the hotel cooking up to 600 meals a week and delivering them to vulnerable people. The hotel also welcomed frontline NHS staff who stayed at the hotel during the first wave of the pandemic.
Head chef at Gunwharf Quays Brasserie Blanc, Anghel Niko Nedelcu, joined forces with Queens Hotel Managing Director , Farid Yeganeh, to create up to 600 meals every week. General Manager, Chris Gilmore, and Head Chef, Paul Playford, from the hotel’s sister establishment, the Royal Beach, also joined them.
Thousands of pounds were donated to ensure the meals could be created for those most in need. Suppliers and city based companies such as PMC Construction and Southsea butchers, Buckwells, also donated to the cause.
Farid explained: “None of us could just sit back and wait. We wanted to help in a practical way and we are really enjoying cooking for our community.”
“The meals prepared at the Queens Hotel were really special. Receiving one was such a treat,” said Clare Martin, Director of Community Projects at Portsmouth Football Club.
Her team of volunteers worked with the strategic partnership of the HIVE Portsmouth to deliver meals and food parcels to the vulnerable.
“One person burst into tears when our volunteer arrived with food for them; they were so delighted.”
Commenting on the Freedom of the City honour, Farid added: “We are delighted to be recognised in this way for the work we did. We see ourselves as the hotel at the heart of Southsea and this has underlined that position.”
11th May 2022