How a village pub near Lutterworth helped give struggling families a Christmas to remember

“They may well have been forced to choose between eating Christmas dinner and buying presents for their children otherwise – and that’s just not acceptable in this day and age”

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 5:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 5:06 pm
Nathan Miles when he took over the pub in 2016.
Nathan Miles when he took over the pub in 2016.

A local village pub near Lutterworth helped 43 people have a Christmas to remember.

Emma Miles, 36, and her husband Nathan, 34, have put their hearts and souls into running the popular community pub the Black Horse in Walcote, near Lutterworth, for the last four years.

And the big-hearted couple put the devastating Covid-19 crisis behind them as they pulled out all the stops to feed11 grateful local families with a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

Emma said: “It’s given us such a thrill to be able to help out people who might well have struggled.

“We dived in to support deserving families put forward to us by local organisations.

“They may well have been forced to choose between eating Christmas dinner and buying presents for their children otherwise – and that’s just not acceptable in this day and age.”

She cooked and prepped a mini-mountain of delicious food for families in nearby villages such as Gilmorton and Ullesthorpe.

“We did special breakfast bags with croissants, pastries and fruit juice to start the big day.

“We cooked the traditional turkey for Christmas dinner backed up by veg and roast potatoes,” said Emma, who took over the Black Horse with Nathan back in late 2016.

“We also bagged up our special home-made ice cream, hot chocolate, sweets and treats and even toys for the kids.

“Altogether we catered for 43 adults and children right across the ages – one mum had a four-week-old baby.

“We had a massive mix of families.

“About half drove here to pick up their food on Christmas Eve while Amanda and Dave, two of our fantastic villagers, went out to deliver the rest.

“We started organising this initiative at the start of December.

“We have been asking people to donate £15 – which was enough to feed one adult or two children.

“The community has responded brilliantly and we cannot speak too highly of the way they’ve got behind us,” said Emma, who has five children between her and Nathan.

“There is just no way in the world that people should be trying to enjoy Christmas Day while not being able to eat their dinner.

“It takes a massive weight off their minds to know that we are supporting them.

“We have been supporting the Lutterworth and Villages Foodbank, which does incredible work, for quite some time now.

“I used to work in Coventry and helped out at homeless shelters over there.

“This has been a very tough year for a lot of people and it certainly opens your eyes to realise that so many families need our help.”

Emma and Nathan have been working flat out to keep their heads above water as they battle to survive strict Tier 3 guidelines forcing them to close their doors.

“It’s been a difficult year for everyone in hospitality.

“Pubs like ours are genuine social hubs that people come to to see each other and catch up as well as having a drink,” said Emma, who lives at the pub with her family.

“We are diversifying and doing all we can to get through this.

“Nathan’s been a chef for a long time and makes beautiful ice cream – I never thought we’d sell so much ice cream in deep mid-winter!

“We are also offering very tasty takeaways and offering carveries plated up in our kitchen.

“So we are doing everything we can think of to make sure that we are still here – both for us and our regulars and the community – as we finally get back to normal next year.”

You can help to support the Lutterworth and Villages Foodbank here: https://lutterworthvillages.foodbank.org.uk/