A mum who has cooked around 4,500 meals for the vulnerable during coronavirus has decided to hang up her apron.

Sophie Mears has been incredibly busy during the lock down, setting up Sophie Mears Meals so those self-isolating and the most vulnerable in Bridport and the surrounding area could have a hot meal every day.

But she said that ‘due to the new government phasing in place and the need for meals dwindling’ she is stopping the meals as of June 7.

Sophie said: “It was a very hard decision as I feel like I am letting people down but with a lot of consideration and looking at it realistically, it was the right time to stop what we are doing.

“I honestly don’t feel like I have done that much and so many people do this on a daily basis.”

She has won praise from members of the community and a fundraiser was set up to help cover costs, which raised more than £4,900. She was also supported with donations and people buying ahead for her at the butchers.

Sophie added: “The response has been overwhelming and absolutely blown me away. Honestly, I was waiting for nasty comments being so open to the public eye, but it never came which was just amazing.

“I think on average we cooked roughly 60 meals a day for 12 weeks, mostly six days a week, so I would say around 4,500 give or take.

“The community has given me an astounding amount of support, from donations to catering discounts, meals for me and my family, to cards and nominations and volunteer drivers, the admin people do day in, day out, doing my shopping and helping with washing up. It’s unbelievable and my kids and partner have been immense, there have been tough times where I felt overwhelmed and out of my depth, but with everyone’s support and kind words, they were few and far between.

“I couldn’t have done this alone; this was a complete team effort and everyone I have met will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Although Sophie, who works as a finance officer at the Sir John Colfox Academy, is stopping the meals, it might not spell the end for her catering career.

“I am staying with my job for now and taking some time with my children,” Sophie said, “but hoping I can set up some kind of meals on wheels on the side, working with not just everyday people but the more vulnerable that we have been helping already.”