Cumberland Lodge and Crown Estate distribute meals and groceries to elderly and vulnerable

Our first delivery of ready-meals and groceries was distributed on Thursday 26 March 2020.

Senior managers at Cumberland Lodge, packing food parcels for the elderly in Windsor Great Park, during UK coronavirus pandemic

Cumberland Lodge has teamed up with the Crown Estate to prepare ready-made meals for more than 200 elderly and vulnerable people living in the Great Park and its immediate surroundings, as part of their response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The first food deliveries from the Lodge took place during the afternoon of Thursday 26 March 2020, with the need for social distancing put at the forefront of the food packing and distribution operation.

Our long-standing Head Chef, Robert Szewczyk, who lives in the Great Park, has been co-ordinating the project with Sous-Chef Ross Brooks, who also lives on site.

The chefs have been busy preparing and freezing 900 meals, ready to be distributed from a series of food stations set up in the grounds of Cumberland Lodge, along with a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, bread and butter, and venison sausages.

The costs of the food are being met by the Crown Estate. The parcels will be collected by Crown Estate staff and delivered directly to people’s doorsteps, this afternoon.

The charity’s Chief Executive, Canon Dr Edmund Newell, said, ‘There are many people living in and around in Windsor Great Park who are isolated and vulnerable, and, as a charity that exists to contribute to the betterment of society, we are pleased to be able to work in partnership with our friends and colleagues at the Crown Estate to provide practical help at this time.

‘We have a reputation for great food, and our chefs, who would normally be cooking for hundreds of guests, have been working hard all week to ensure that our neighbours have healthy, ready-made meals to enjoy.

‘We hope to continue providing this service for as long as it is needed, whilst we are able to do so.’

Responding to the pandemic

Cumberland Lodge is a charity founded in the aftermath of the Second World War to tackle social division by convening conversations between people of all ages and backgrounds. Ordinarily, the 17th-century, former royal residence is full of guests from all over the UK, and around the world – many of whom come as part of event bookings that help to support the charity’s own programme of conferences, panel discussions, webinars and study retreats.

In the current circumstances, all gatherings at Cumberland Lodge have been postponed, and many of our household and administrative staff have been put on paid leave or asked to work from home, whilst delivering the charity’s programme of events and discussions online.

At the same time, we are looking for practical ways to support our local community, as far as we are able to do so.

Sunday morning chapel service

In addition to co-ordinating weekly food deliveries, Cumberland Lodge is also supporting the congregation of the Royal Chapel of All Saints in the Great Park, and the wider Windsor Estate community, by webcasting a simple Church of England service of Morning Prayer at 11.00am on Sundays.

The services are led by Dr Newell or by The Reverend Canon Martin Poll (Queen’s Chaplain, and Chaplain to Windsor Great Park).

Printed orders of service are included in each food parcel from Cumberland Lodge.