Despite the stress and strain of lockdown and furlough, with an uncertain future at both local and national level, local pub manager, Kate Smith, was not going to simply go home and wait for lockdown to end. She approached her boss, Peter Borg-Neal – whose pub group, Oakman Inns, owns Tring favourite, The Akeman, and asked him to lend her the pub – for free.
Kate organised a team of Akeman volunteers to run a pizza takeaway service, selling their famous hand-crafted, wood-fired pizzas with all the profits going to local charity, Rennie Grove Hospice Care. The pizzas had to be pre-ordered and were only available Thursday – Saturday.
‘My team and I really wanted to do something worthwhile during lockdown while we were on furlough,’ Kate Smith said. ‘Thanks to Oakman donating the premises to us we could continue creating our award-winning pizzas to take away. Our regulars were clearly missing our pizzas and we were overcome by the incredible support we received. With their support and the professionalism and generosity of spirit shown by our team, we’ve been able to donate £10,000 to support the vital work provided by local hospice charity, Rennie Grove.’
Rennie Grove Hospice Care provides specialist care and support for adults and children with a life-limiting illness in Buckinghamshire and West Hertfordshire.
The charity’s Community & Events Fundraising Manager, Claire Redrup, said: ‘We’re so grateful to all the team at The Akeman for their amazing contribution of £10,000. They all used their time when furloughed to keep serving their community delicious pizzas and their £10,000 donation will help support our nurses care for patients diagnosed with life limiting illnesses. Our charity is facing a funding crisis: every one of our 28 charity shops has been closed, all our planned fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed while demand for our care increases daily. We need all the support we can get and are delighted that Kate and her team chose to support us instead of putting their feet up during furlough. Thank you and we look forward to coming back to The Akeman after it re-opens on 4 July.’
Image shows (on the right) Kate Smith, The Akeman’s GM, handing over their donation to Claire Redrup, Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Community & Events Fundraising Manager.