Worthing café donates hundreds of sandwiches to key workers - after opening six days before coronavirus shutdown

On March 14, 20-year-old Jordan Luxford opened his first café in Worthing and was looking forward to an exciting new chapter in his life.

But just six days later life as we knew it was turned upside down, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the closure of all cafés, restaurants and pubs in an attempt to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus.

Like so many businesses, Jordan's Café was plunged into an impossible situation, suddenly relying solely on deliveries to get by.

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And like so many businesses, the café has managed to channel its misfortune into amazing acts of kindness and community spirit already seen in droves since the coronavirus crisis took hold.

Chloe Long, Jordan Luxford and Sophie Squires outside Jordan's Caf in South Farm Road

Jordan set up a fundraiser for key workers around two weeks ago, which has already received more than £400 in donations. Since then, he and his staff have delivered more than 200 free sandwiches to key workers, from NHS workers, to the ambulance service, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, supermarket workers, mechanics, Turning Tides and more.

He said that as long as people keep donating, he will keep dishing out the sandwiches.

“There’s all the key workers still helping, so I thought I’d help them out," said Jordan, who also works as the head fish and chips chef at the Wimbledon tennis championships.

"Obviously when the lockdown was announced so soon after we opened it was very, very stressful – especially as I’ve got a little girl to support as well.

“But it’s doable and we are managing well. The support we’re getting has been unbelievable and the response from the key workers has been amazing.

“That’s what makes it worth it. At first I was really worried, but now we are helping people I’m happy. I think everyone’s starting to pull together a bit more - because of what’s happened we’re all working together.”

Jordan said having just started his business actually placed him in a more fortuitous position than more established traders, as he had money saved to see him through the potentially slower first few months of opening.

He and his team, which includes Chloe Long and Sophie Squires, now dedicate every Wednesday to making and distributing the sandwiches.

The café's gesture is another example of businesses coming together to support the community.

The Facebook group Worthing Food & Drink has operated as a useful gathering point for many of Worthing's businesses to share ideas and support each other.

The group's founder, Melanie Peters, said that among the understandable uncertainty and tragedy there was a 'positive vibe' happening and it was a good time to be living in Worthing.

She said: "It’s amazing to see all the Food & Drink businesses do so much for the community. We’ve seen so many great things like Piglets Pantry offering up to 50 per cent off for NHS staff, Giuseppeslite have been delivering food to Worthing Fire Station and Turning Tides, as well as essential items locally. We have over 50 businesses in the Worthing Food & Drink group offering delivery services."

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