A popular Richmond pub is leading the way in the community response to coronavirus, by serving hot food to the homeless amid the ongoing lockdown.

The Angel & Crown, in Church Court, was celebrating record takings only three weeks ago, but was forced to close its doors after the government ramped up social distancing measures.

But rather than stepping back and doing nothing, landlord Nick Botting was determined to do his part to help out the Richmond community.

Along with a skeleton team of staff including head chef Geo, general manager Hannah, as well as development manager Liam, Nick set out to help make sure the neighbourhood’s homeless were provided for.

He told Richmond Times: “We all have to adhere to the government guidelines. Stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS.

“However; when we speak about the most vulnerable, we cannot forget those sleeping on the streets. We must help them too in the safest way possible.

“We have the most stringent operating policy in place. This keeps my team and those using the service as safe as humanly possible”.

The team have so far been serving hot food every day for those in need between the hours of 4pm and 5pm, with an average of 20 to 30 people visiting each day.

In line with social distancing, those using the service are to keep two metres apart.

Food is prepared for individuals and then passed out of the pub’s front window. It is only then that those using the service can step forward and collect their dinner. Individuals must then move on immediately.

But the pub also faces a significant financial challenge while it is closed for normal custom.

Nick described the support they have received from the local community as “magnificent” but to maintain the service, the pub still needs more.

They are appealing to anyone who can spare a few pounds in such difficult times to donate to their PayPal account. This will ensure the continuation of hot food and drink for those in need as the lockdown continues.

For more information on how to help please visit the pub's Facebook and Instagram pages or visit their donation page direct: www.paypal.me/angelforthehomeless