Zeera, South Shields’ award-winning Indian restaurant, is donating weekly feast to NHS staff in thanks for their hard work

Zeera restaurant will feed at least 30 NHS staff at South Tyneside Hospital, delivering them a slap-up, morale boosting meal every week.

Shahnoor Choudhury, owner of Zeera, said: “The work they do at South Tyneside Hospital is incredible, these are exceptional circumstances, and we want to do our bit to help them through this tough time, to pull together and hopefully boost morale.”

Shanoor’s business has received a government support package, which is a big short term help, however, concerns for the long term grow daily. Not all bills can not be simply deferred, and the longer this crisis continues, the harder it will be [for businesses] to come back from this situation.

Shahnoor highlights VAT payments, which will soon be due, and suggests that the government permits VAT relief from March 2020 until the end of the lockdown. Many local businesses are supporting their families in need and key workers, and they need financial support.

Like most business owners, Shahnoor was caught by surprise with the lockdown; an epidemic like this hasn’t happened in the UK since 1968:

“We have had to diversify our business to keep going, and we intend to work as hard as we possibly can for as long as we possibly can to support our local community, which we all think is extremely important at a time like this.”

“We think it is vital to be of service in troubling times, when communities need to stand by one another; we are passionate about giving back to our community, because they have  supported us over the years. We are a family business, and we believe that family is the most important thing. We consider our customers and our community to be a part of that family, so we feel passionately that it is right that we are here for them during this heinous situation.

Zeera, in happier times, won the prestigious North East Restaurant of the Year at the national British Curry Awards 2016, and a Silver Taste of England Award from North East England Tourism.

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