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Aberdeenshire chip shop bosses to hand out free meals to children in bid to support parents through last week of holidays

Lorraine and Charlie Watson, owners of The Carron Fish Bar.
Lorraine and Charlie Watson, owners of The Carron Fish Bar.

The bosses of a Stonehaven fish and chip shop will serve up complimentary meals for children this Friday to help out parents after a busy and potentially expensive school holiday period.

Lorraine and Charlie Watson, and their son Murray, will dish out hundreds of portions of fish, chicken fillet and sausage suppers for children of all ages at their venue, The Carron Fish Bar, on Friday.

Taking place from 11am to 2pm, children and teens can visit the premises to get their free lunch in a bid to help parents who have had to finance the school holiday break.

From left: Murray, Lorraine and Charlie Watson with Jennifer Middleton, manager of The Carron Fish Bar in Stonehaven.

The team previously launched a six-week campaign earlier in the year to get people and their children out and about enjoying the fresh air, which saw the business offer hundreds of free suppers to youngsters every Friday. Some days saw 400 plus children being served.

Free meals for youngsters

Lorraine Watson was taken aback at how popular the last service was and says it was her son Murray’s idea to offer it again for the last week of the school holidays.

She said: “The six weeks we did it initially, we realised how popular it had been.

“Murray mentioned we should do it again for the last week of the school holidays so we figured that would be a good idea. We’ll do the same food – fish, chicken fillets, sausages and chips and cheese for those who would prefer.

“There won’t be as big as big a worry around social distancing this time, so that is a positive. There were some concerns about that back in February when we did this initially, but it won’t be as strict this time.

From left: Ruby Lawrence, four, with her sisters Chloe Lawrence, 11, Lily Lawrence, six, at The Carron Fish Bar in Stonehaven in February.

“We just want to make it a fun day for the kids and their parents or guardians. We work with local businesses like the caravan park and the local school, Carronhill School, to make sure everyone knows we are doing it. We’re raising funds for the school so we’ll have charity tins on the counter. It doesn’t matter if people don’t donate, but it is there for anyone to do so.

“It is for all children whether they are teenagers, toddlers – it is for them all.”

Partnerships

Getting ready to welcome around 400 youngsters to their chip shop, Lorraine will have seven or eight members of staff working on the day to keep up with demand.

The Carron Fish Bar has also partnered with other local firms to be able to offer the food for free.

Lorraine added: “We’ll be geared up and estimate around 400 suppers that we’ll end up serving up.

“Ricky King from Kings Foods is donating the fish, Robert from Charles McHardy’s Butchers has donated the sausages and chicken, and our tattie merchant, Grampian Growers in Montrose, have given us a bag of chips.

The children’s fish supper.

“For us, it will just be the manpower and cooking as we’ll need seven or eight members of staff to work.

“It is really just something to give back to the local community. We are so grateful for their support so we see this as a way of giving back to them.

“It was mind-blowing seeing what happened last time. It was salt and vinegar, salt and vinegar, salt and vinegar. As the six weeks went by we got more used to the operation and still need to accommodate all of our customers who will be popping over for some food on Friday, too.

“We’re still not letting people in the shop for now. We are getting the place refit in November so we’ll probably look to welcoming people back inside then.”


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This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.

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