Two Fylde Coast fish and chip shops are offering free meals to those in need via an innovative post-it-note scheme.
Customers at John’s Friary in Fleetwood and Eastpines Friary in Thornton-Cleveleys can order a ‘post-it special’ and be given a free meal that was paid for by a previous, kind-hearted customer.
A selection of the paid-for meals are written on post-it notes and displayed on a board in each of the shops, so customers can choose a dish they like.
Owner of the two takeaways, Greig Horabin, says anyone can take advantage of the free meals on offer, regardless of appearances.
“You don’t know if a guy pulls up in a Rolls Royce whether that could be being repossessed tomorrow, or if he could be frogmarched out of his house by bailiffs at dinner time, so we made a conscious decision that it wasn’t up to us to be judge and jury on this,” he explained.
“All you have to do is come in and ask for a post-it special and then you can literally just pick up a post-it note, no questions asked, and disappear into the distance.”
Mr Horabin said the scheme has been a roaring success so far, with an anonymous customer popping in and handing over £50 to pay for a range of meals, and another posting a £20 donation through his door.
There are currently more than 20 paid-for meals ready to be claimed at Eastpines Friary on Eastpines Drive, and a similar number at John’s Friary on Brook Street.
“It’s going to stay forever. We’ll always have it there now just in case somebody wants something or needs something. We can be known as the place you can go and get a meal,” Mr Horabin said.
“I’m going to take a load of post-it notes off and go down to Cleveleys town centre and dish them out to those that look like they might need it. If somebody is in a doorway or feeling a bit unloved, I’ll say listen, if you need a hot meal, here you go. Somebody has done a random act of kindness and this is for you.”
The 46-year-old businessman – who also owns the independent travel agency Just Ask – is no stranger to paying it forward.
He has already been offering free lunches for school children at his two takeaways and is now gearing up to pay for a local family’s entire Christmas with the help of community support group, Men’s Shed Fleetwood.
“Men’s Shed are sorting me a family that would need it and could be a bit down on their luck and having a really hard time,” he said.
“Tree, turkey, presents, kids to have money to buy their parents presents… we’re going to pay for Christmas.”