AS MANY businesses in the catering industry close their doors temporarily owing to the coronavirus outbreak, at the Witney Gazette, we want to do our bit to support those that are #StillopeninOxfordshire.

In an extremely challenging and unprecedented time, Newsquest Oxfordshire, the publisher of this paper, wants to show its support to the communities it serves.

Samantha Harman, editor, said: “It is no secret our local traders are facing a difficult time and as a champion of our communities, Newsquest Oxfordshire wants to help in any way it can.”

Shane Harding, sales director, added: “I have also instructed my team to reach out to these businesses over the coming days and make them aware of our campaign, many of these businesses have supported us for several years by advertising their products and services within our titles and at this time it is appropriate we show our support.”

See also: Bicester Village is CLOSED as lockdown begins

Many pubs and restaurants have turned to offering takeaway services in order to stay open following the announcement on Friday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that they must close.

For example, the Witney Blanket Hall is delivering pies to the public.

Eleanor Martin, who is the hall’s manager, in addition to being chairman of the Witney chamber of commerce, said: “Unfortunately we’ve had to close to the public, as we are both a restaurant and museum.

“We are however offering a delivery service in Witney and the surrounding towns and villages.

Witney Gazette:

“We will also go to Oxford if the demand is high.

“We’re offering good food that you can put in the freezer to keep or you can eat fresh on delivery.”

Meanwhile, UE Coffee Roasters in Witney launched its delivery service on Thursday.

Dominic Boyett, managing director, said: “We thought it would best for the company to adopt a proactive approach and fully utilise our staff in way that we as a company could offer a service to our customers and the wider community who would clearly be in need.

“The range of products has evolved very quickly from offering bread, milk, eggs and cheese to now having a full sweet bakery range as well as fresh fruit and vegetables which have all been sourced from the Cotswolds.

Witney Gazette:

“We will be look at increasing the offering later this week with more pantry essentials and toiletries.”

UE Coffee Roasters also donated a coffee machine and supply of fresh coffee to Witney Community Hospital to support the doctors, nurses and staff.

At present, it has four vans on the road every day of the week, and Mr Boyett said he is aiming to double this to eight vans by the end of this week.

The Kingham Plough offered a similar service however was forced to abandon it yesterday.

Read more: Doctors hits out at lack of protective gear for coronavirus training

Readers can support our campaign by using the hashtag #stillopeninoxfordshire.

You can shoutout a local business which has gone above and beyond, or tell us about the ways your business is coping. Email news@nqo.com

For more information about supporting this campaign, email shane.harding@localiq.co.uk