A NEW Forest restaurant has delivered almost 200 meals to key workers this weekend to show their support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rivaaz, an Indian restaurant on St Thomas Street in Lymington, worked tirelessly over the weekend to freshly prepare and deliver meals to NHS staff, police officers and other key workers.

The team delivered a total of 197 meals over the weekend throughout Lymington.

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The team visited Lymington Hospital, Oakhaven Hospice, Lyndhurst police station, Southern Central Ambulance Services, Southlands School and Freegrove Care Home in one day to ensure key and worthy workers could feel appreciated during these trying times.

It comes after Boris Johnson advised all restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs to close on Friday, March 20, to help tackle the spread of COVID-19 and encourage people to take up social distancing.

Shahin Malek, co-founder and director of Rivaaz, first started the campaign with a post on Facebook asking for suggestions on where the food should be delivered to.

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The team cooked up all of the fresh stock that would have otherwise gone to waste and delivered meals over the weekend.

Shahin said: "We were extremely happy that we could do this for as many local organisations and key workers as we could.

"We managed to donate 197 meals to staff of Lymington Hospital, Oakhaven Hospice, Lyndhurst Police Station, Southern Central Ambulance Services, Southlands School and Freegrove Care home.

"We hope this inspires other to do the same. Stay safe."

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It comes days after Southampton Hospitals Charity launched a campaign to support NHS staff looking after patients during the outbreak.

The appeal launched aims to raise money to support the mental health and wellbeing of the frontline NHS staff who are caring for COVID-19 patients.

As well as this, newspapers across the country - including the Daily Echo - published the same front page to support residents and to pledge to shine a light on the heroes in this hour of need.

To donate visit www.southamptonhospitalscharity.org/NHSheroes or text NHSHEROES 3 to 70460 to donate £3; NHSHEROES 5 to 70460 to donate £5; NHSHEROES 10 to 70460 to donate £10.