My name is Katherine Hau and this is my story of running The Chinese Manor House during the corona virus epidemic.
Since we locked down in March this year, my husband and I decided to do a Free Meal Donation for NHS in Edinburgh for a period of 12 weeks. Now we are please to announce that mission has been completed on Sunday 14th June 2020.
To begin with, I posted on Facebook and our own website, in order to get ideas on how we should tackle this campaign. Luckily, I got a lots of feedback from our readers and local customers. Western General Hospital came in at the top of the list which made sense because it does handle a very high number of COVID-19 patients daily. So we decided to donate 30 free meals to Western General Hospital every Sunday. Although this is not a difficult decision to make, feedback from many people indicated there are still many people need our help, especially elderly and vulnerable people.
So we decided to stretch our muscle and start meal donations for elderly and vulnerable people in our local Corstorphine area. During the lock down Chinese Manor House open only from Thursday to Sunday evening from 5 – 9:30 pm. Each night we delivered to the elderly and vulnerable people too. Because I didn’t know where they are, who they are etc, I wrote another post Facebook (Corstorphine – the friendly village people) and asked for readers to contact me if they know anyone is in need.
I started to receive lots of emails to tell me who would like to be participate in the Free Meal Donation Scheme. There were many people, who live abroad or far away and could not do anything very much for their parents during the lockdown. I can truly appreciate how they feel because my mother lives in Hong Kong on her own. I could not do anything for her during the lockdown in Hong Kong which made me feel very guilty. When every time people wrote to me and said thank you of what we have done, I did feel good about it, I was there to help them to be connected. Sending their thoughts to their loving parents about how much they care. There were also neighbours, friends, health carers who contacted me who needed our services. Their contribution has been immense, I would never know who would need us without all of them. They made this campaign meaningful and possible.
Every week I contacted the elderly and found out what they will liked/wanted for their meals. Some of the elderly told me that they haven’t spoke to anyone for many, many days and they do feel very lonely and could not leave their house. My donation is something that cheered them up, something that they could look forward to during this very difficult lock up time. Their voices on the phone crushed my heart a little because I feel so sorry for them but on the same token, I feel pleased to know that our actions mean a sense of caring and love to those elderly and needed people.
Our team of delivery drivers is wonderful, dedicated, warm-hearted people. I could never do the free meals without their help. All drivers volunteered to do the delivery, without charging us a single penny. Every night when we were open, the first delivery went out to the elderly or vulnerable people. They always take the order with a big smile, it seems they are doing something so important and something that they are proud of, it gives Danny and I a much stronger confidence to carry on this campaign.
The other heroes behind the scene are my kitchen staff. Every Sunday – to cook extra 30 meals for NHS is a massive jobs. They did not take it light-heartedly. Very often they sacrifice their own dinner time in order to prepare this extra 30 meals, with passion, enthusiasm and caring. Again, we could not possibly get these done without them.
Time goes so quickly, those 12 weeks already passed and we are going to be unlocked soon. Our society is slowly turning back to normal. Out of the blue Mr. Tommy McClean from Corstorphine Community Centre contacted me over a month ago, he wanted to partnership with Chinese Manor House to coordinate the Free Meal Donation Scheme. So we have now extend this service to fully seven days a week till end of July. Which is a wonderful experience and I cannot thank you Mr. McClean enough for his kindness and caring for our local Corstorphine community, either individual or small businesses like ourselves.
We hope you all well and stay safe during the lock up period. We believe that we should be opened in middle of July and we cannot wait to see our customers face to face, to give them an enjoyable dinning experience again at our best. Chinese Manor House like any other business, we need our customers to support us, so your comment at:
Allow me to introduce a very Asian English expression – we called it ‘Add Oil’,( an encouragement and support to a person or business.) We need you to ‘Add Oil’, so that we can carry on this long journey with confident and courage, thank you!