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Free Friday fish and chips

A fish and chip shop in East Dorset is giving away free food every Friday for a year to vulnerable and needy members of the community.

Karsberg, which operates a takeaway, restaurant and drive-thru in Ferndown, is asking customers to nominate locals who they feel could do with a fish and chips pick me up.

Nominations are made privately through the shop’s Facebook page and each Friday night two drops are made.

Phil Karsberg, who runs the chippy with partner Adele Gleason, comments: “We started it in first week of January and the first drop we did was to a family on the estate where the shop is. The mum had just lost her job and she had three children to feed. The following week we delivered to a disabled child whose favourite meal was chicken nuggets and chips. We’ve got so many on the list now that we’re doing two drops a week, so the Friday just gone we took fish and chips to an elderly couple and to a low income family.”

Phil says the shop’s now had enough nominations to keep them busy for six months.

“We’re working our way down the list each week. At the beginning of the week, we’ll contact the next two and say "it’s your week, what do you want and it will be with you at 7.30pm".

“My partner, Adele, doesn't work on a Friday night but she comes in, dishes up the food and then drops it off. The response she gets, just seeing how grateful people are, is ridiculous.”

Having grown up in the town, Phil is grateful for the opportunity to help his community, adding: “I’ve lived in Ferndown all my life, I went to school here and the business is now doing really well so it’s a nice position to be in where we are able to do this and give something back. People give a little side story when they nominate someone, so we’re able to get to know our customers a little better too.

"On a Friday night we are packed, we’re literally queuing out the door so, for us, giving a few meals away isn’t a lot, but for others it makes a huge difference.”

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