Leyland takeaway signs off for now by serving up food for Chorley Hospital staff

The owner of an Indian takeaway in Leyland has used his business's final hours of operation to put on a spread for staff at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.

Shiraz Miah had already taken the decision to temporarily close Thindian on Chapel Brow before the announcement that the UK was being put on lockdown, because he felt that it was no longer safe for people to be congregating in such close proximity.

Chorley Hospital staff receive free food from Shiraz Miah (seventh from right) after he temporarily closed his Thindian takeway in Leyland

Chorley Hospital staff receive free food from Shiraz Miah (seventh from right) after he temporarily closed his Thindian takeway in Leyland

But he wanted to do “one last cook” using the food which was in the process of being prepared for sale.

The 37-year-old asked for ideas on Facebook and one of the first suggestions was to treat local NHS staff on the frontline. So Shiraz and his team spent Monday afternoon serving up 175 meals for staff at the Euxton Lane – and received a welcome as warm as the food when they delivered it.

“They were all so grateful – we got virtual hugs,” laughed Shiraz.

“We spoke to the hospital management beforehand and explained that we are a five-star (hygiene-rated) establishment – and they said they’d be delighted to accept the offer.”

Shiraz was keen to give a boost to those working on the wards in Chorley, having experienced the care offered by NHS staff to his Mum, who sadly died last year. It prompted him to make an appeal for everybody in Lancashire to do the right thing to protect the service - and the people working in it - during the coronavirus crisis.

“There is an awful lot that you don’t see in what these people do – so now we need to keep safe the people who keep us safe.

“We must do what we are being told – because we are our own enemies with this virus, we are the ones who will spread it to family and friends.”

Karen Partington, chief executive of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, had a simple message for staff at Thindian: “You are wonderful.”

“We are astonished by the generosity of local shops and restaurants at what is an unprecedented time for us. Our staff are working around the clock to care for patients and their families, so to receive delicious meals really boosts morale.

“We are so grateful to everyone at Thindian for thinking of our teams at Chorley Hospital before they close their doors,” Ms. Partington added.

Shiraz also delivered surprise evening meals to some of his neighbours on Fleetwood Street – and he has now been left to consider how he will spend the time that his takeaway, which opened in 2014, will be closed.

“We’ve got a commercial kitchen there not being used, so I might see if I can offer some kind of support to the community, as long as it’s safe to do so.

“All of my customers and neighbours have always looked out for me and I’d like to do the same for them.

By the time he re-opens his business, Shiraz could even be the next You Tube star.

“I was even thinking of doing some videos showing people how to make cheap meals for themselves at home,” he said.