HOSPICE staff have delivered a thank you to a restaurant and its kind-hearted customers who provided them with free meals during the coronavirus pandemic.

St Helena Hospice staff were delivered the meals three times a week thanks to The Crown Inn in Stoke-by-Nayland.

The donations were part of the Giving Tree initiative set up by Chestnut, the company which runs the pub.

With lockdown restrictions lifted, the pub has now reopened to customers and so has had to stop providing meals for the time being.

St Helena Hospice's director of care, Jo Tonkin, presented the pub with a cake as a thank you for its support on its reopening weekend.

Ms Tonkin said: “The meals brought our staff some well deserved nourishment and comfort during long and often challenging shifts.

"I am immensely proud of our team and this was such a nice thing for them to look forward to three times a week.”

Pub manager Nicole Barrett added: “We are so pleased and proud to have supported the wonderful team at St Helena’s Hospice on a voluntary basis during a particularly difficult time - their gesture of thanks and support to us was so greatly appreciated on our re-opening weekend.

"We want to say a huge thank you too to every guest who joined us this past weekend and for all the kind messages and reviews we have received since.”