1420. Richard Fergie
Richard Fergie, from Hamilton, repurposed his ‘Monterey Jack’s’ restaurants during lockdown to support over 30,000 people with free donations of food, including creating a ‘Coffee for Heroes’ programme providing free coffee and cake three times a week to more than 10,000 NHS and key workers.
From the start of the pandemic, Richard and the entire team of staff volunteers at ‘Monterey Jack’s’ wanted to find a way to assist the most vulnerable and isolated in local communities across Scotland, support frontline workers and keep staff engaged during lockdown. They initially launched “The Monterey Jack’s Soup Project”, making fresh, homemade soups in-store daily in all branches and delivering free of charge to anyone who got in touch, before launching an “NHS meals and treats programme” for NHS staff and frontline workers in need of a welcome break and treat during busy shifts, followed by their “Coffee for Heroes” programme, operating three times a week. All surplus food and ingredients were donated throughout this period to homeless shelters and food banks.
In a personal letter to Richard and the ‘Monterey Jack’s’ team, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I wanted to write personally to thank you for the brilliant contribution you have made to our national effort to defeat Coronavirus.
“I am lost in admiration for the way that you have repurposed your “Monterey Jack’s” restaurants to serve your community.
“I am amazed to hear that your “Coffee for Heroes” has now provided vital sustenance to over 10,000 extraordinary men and women working in our wonderful NHS. Meanwhile your soup delivery programme has supported over 4,000 vulnerable people during the lockdown.
“You epitomise the very best of Britain and I am delighted to recognise you as the UK’s 1420th Point of Light, as part of this special series of awards to honour those who are serving others as we battle to defeat Coronavirus.”
“It is our hope that “Monterey Jack’s” is recognised on behalf of our entire team of staff volunteers in preference of recognition of any one individual and we are grateful on behalf of our team for such an award.
“We have learned as a relatively small food group, that we have great ability to do good in the communities we serve and intend to continue, with the help of our trade partners and great staff, our charitable work going forward.”
Pictured: Richard (centre) with two volunteers from Monterey Jack’s