COMMUNITY heroes have been recognised for their amazing work to help deliver a staggering 9,000 meals to vulnerable people during the first nationwide lockdown.

Rhos Thompson, landlord of The Wyke Smugglers, and Lisa Rushby, co-director of The Veterans Hub, have been named as heroes for their work delivering meals to thousands of people during the first lockdown period.

The pair were handed Certificates of Appreciation from Weymouth and Portland Lions Club after they worked with the local Sikh community to run the scheme.

A Lions Club spokesperson said: "The Veterans Hub provided the food, and The Wyke Smugglers provided the kitchen. Together with members of the local Sikh community who supplied the know how, these inspiring volunteers worked tirelessly as a team to provide hot cooked take-away curries on Tuesday and Friday evenings.

"Once national restrictions started to ease and the Wyke Smugglers was able to resume normal business again, the Osprey Leisure Centre then stepped in to offer kitchen and food preparation space for the work to continue. In total a staggering 9,000 meals were prepared, cooked and delivered."

Mr Thompson said: "We just joined forces and it all fell together in a nice, happy, accidental way.

"The Veteran's Hub were brilliant, Lisa was so wonderful, she organised everything and she had it running like a military-style operation.

"I'm just glad we managed to reach out into the community at such a time of adversity, it was a lovely thing to be a part of and it was a pleasure to help.

"We helped anyone that needed it, anyone that was lonely or struggling through that time or was working in the most terrible of times.A lot of them are still in touch so friendships were made as well.

"It was great fun, we had a great giggle doing it and the pub was smelling like a curry house. When we saw the packages going out with people's names on it just made me so happy and you felt really connected to it, knowing someone was going to get a nice home-cooked vegetarian meal.

"The Sikh community we have here is quite small but they showed their true colours and they are a real asset to our community. We are so lucky to have them in our town."

Andy Price, co-director of The Veterans Hub, said: "We are a community-based project and we try and do as much as we can to give back. There's no way we weren't going to do something for the community during lockdown.

"Lisa was incredibly proud of what the team did and everyone worked so hard to make it happen."

For further details on how to nominate volunteers for a Lions Certificate of Appreciation go to