A mother and daughter involved in running a pub business are offering to help the elderly and vulnerable who are staying at home due to coronavirus.

Dianne Irving runs three pubs and a gin parlour in Carlisle and another pub in west Cumbria. Her daughter Danielle works for the business as a commercial photographer.

The duo have been touched by the stories they’ve heard of some of their regulars who are staying indoors because of coronavirus.

So they’ve decided to come up with a solution, and offer a not-for-profit service where they will take their popular pub meals on the road and deliver them to those most in need.

Dianne said: “We’ve all got family, elderly relatives, friends and others in at-risk groups who we know are all very worried about the coronavirus outbreak.

“With all the news and advice which is all around us every day, some of them are understandably deciding to stay at home.

“We know how much many of those people really look forward to their regular trip to our pubs as a chance to socialise and to enjoy some good homemade food.

“So we thought why don’t we offer a service where we produce a meal at cost - we don’t want to make any profit from this - and Danielle and I will take it round to them.

“We were thinking it would be one of our dishes each day - such as steak pie and mash, or stew and dumplings - which are so popular with our regulars.

“If there are issues about us not seeing the people for medical reasons then we can leave it in a safe place for them, such as in the porch, or with a neighbour who is looking out for them.

“All of our businesses have five-star hygiene ratings. We will use all hygiene and safety precautions - as we do in our business every day anyway - to ensure that we are complying with the latest government advice as well as all the health and safety and food hygiene regulations

“We know that isolation for elderly people or vulnerable groups can cause its own problems, and we hope this way we are helping keep that element of routine which we know our regulars really value.

“We are lucky that places like Carlisle, and the whole of Cumbria, still have close-knit communities where people look out for one another, and we wanted to do our bit to help those less fortunate than ourselves.”

Dianne and Danielle will start the service with immediate effect from The Howard Arms in the city centre and The Crown in Stanwix.

The meals will be delivered between 11am-1pm the following day to the local area.

If family, friends, or neighbours, want to order the meal on behalf of someone else, Dianne and Danielle are happy to accommodate such requests.

Dianne Irving is managing director of Drouth Limited which also runs Said The Actress To The Bishop gin parlour upstairs at The Howard Arms; the soon-to-be-opened Milbourne Arms, in Shaddongate, Carlisle; and the White Mare at Beckermet.