Restaurant owner's message for all Harrogate businesses

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The owners of two of Harrogate's oldest independent restaurants and cafes have urged businesses to temporarily cast aside their own worries and commercial interests to focus on 'what really matters' - working together to support Harrogate hospital and our heroic NHS.

Stefano Lancellotti, who runs Italian restaurant Sasso and Caffe Marconi with his wife Sara, said while it is undoubtedly a very tough and alarming climate for independent businesses in the town at the moment, there is a more pressing common good we need to turn our energies and attentions to.

Stefano had to close his eateries last week in line with government instruction, and now wants to prioritise campaigning to help our frontline key workers.

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He said: "I think it is important for everyone to put aside their problems for a moment and try to help them. For all of Harrogate's independent businesses it will of course be very tough and not simple, but given the gravity of the situation, I think it will be necessary to try to face these months in a positive way.

Stefano Lancellotti, who runs Italian restaurant Sasso and Caffe Marconi with his wife Sara, saidwhile it is undoubtedly a very tough and alarming climate for independent businesses in the town at the moment, there is a more pressing common good to turnour energies and attentions to.Picture: Gerard Binks.Stefano Lancellotti, who runs Italian restaurant Sasso and Caffe Marconi with his wife Sara, saidwhile it is undoubtedly a very tough and alarming climate for independent businesses in the town at the moment, there is a more pressing common good to turnour energies and attentions to.Picture: Gerard Binks.
Stefano Lancellotti, who runs Italian restaurant Sasso and Caffe Marconi with his wife Sara, saidwhile it is undoubtedly a very tough and alarming climate for independent businesses in the town at the moment, there is a more pressing common good to turnour energies and attentions to.Picture: Gerard Binks. | jpimedia

"Being forced to close as we were is a huge shock and means immediate loss of income, but I think in the end the most important thing is your health and that of the people around you.

"I think the doctors, nurses and support staff at the hospital have always done an amazing job, but now they are going above and beyond with the current crisis."

Stefano was moved to help when one of his chefs highlighted the heartbreaking reality of many healthcare workers finding supermarket shelves stripped bare at the end of long and difficult shifts.

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The restaurants have since been making pizzas and soups to gift to Harrogate hospital teams for free, and there are plans to offer all hospital staff a 2 for 1 deal in the future on some days during the week.

Stefano said: "Maybe one of those nurses or doctors will help save your life. We can help by respecting the rules around coronavirus, but if we can help the doctors and nurses more directly, even better.

"My appeal is to keep calm and try to convince yourself that even if the future is certainly very uncertain, it is impossible to change what is happening, and as a consequence we have to look for positives. In my case, I have more time with my wife and son."

How you can give to Harrogate hospital teams

Statement from Sammy Lambert, Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity Manager: "While the Trust is extremely grateful for all the kind donations it is receiving from the community and individuals, we must stress the importance of following the donation procedure to allow us to properly co-ordinate where donations are sent.

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"All donations, from individuals and businesses, must be directed to the Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity Fundraising Team, who will coordinate their distribution to acute and community locations, and ensure proper thanks can be given.

"This will allow us to be sure the donations are given to areas most in need at the given time across the hospital and wider community. It is also important in controlling the spread of infection as we can monitor who is coming into the Trust and what is being distributed.

"The HHCC Team can be contacted on 01423 557408 or [email protected]. Please do not donate direct to wards, acute locations, departments, etc. If you or anyone you know wishes to make a donation to any part of the Trust please get in touch using the above details."

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