A CATERING firm which has raised almost £10,000 to feed key workers is looking for nominations to serve Christmas meals to those who have gone “above and beyond” during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Black Jacket Group, based in Colchester, started its campaign to recognise the extraordinary lengths people have gone to to help friends, family and strangers over the past year.

Founding the Thank Our Heroes group, the company has spent the year helping to feed those in need.

It pledged to raise enough funds to buy a turkey for nominees at Christmas, partly through carrying out a mammoth effort to summit the three tallest mountain peaks in England, Scotland and Wales in under 24 hours.

The group also supported Marcus Rashford’s campaign to feed children in need during the October half term, giving away 500 free lunches.

The firm has now raised enough cash to fund 840 Christmas hampers, which will include all the ingredients to cook a turkey dinner for six people.

Those who have already accepted their nominations are invited to a collection hub set up at the Flag Inn, Wivenhoe, where they can collect their turkey on Monday.

William Grinsted, of the Black Jacket Group, said: “There are some who have been nominated but who have not responded to our email.

“It may look like a scam, but we really are giving out free Christmas hampers to those nominated so we encourage them to respond.”

He added: “People can also still nominate their heroes.

“It is not NHS-specific. Anyone who has done an amazing job through the pandemic, be it carrying out some shopping for the vulnerable or going beyond for their family - we will accept those nominations.

“We have plenty of turkey packages to give away, but if people wish to donate we can always put together more.

“The support we have had so far has been incredible.”

To donate to the cause or to nominate a hero, visit thankourheroes.uk.