MEET a business which went above and beyond to help the heroes of the pandemic. 

Sizzling Simon's, a top-notch mobile burger van currently stationed on Whitehaven's Harbour, took it upon themselves to do their bit and provide free meals to NHS staff, carers and the police during the pandemic, all with the help of a local charity. 

"We could've traded during the pandemic but we chose not to trade as it wouldn't have been very responsible," said owner Kay. 

"So what we did do is set up at West Cumbria Hospital and fed about 750 people for free, with a local group helping us to raise funds for stocks - and another day we were at Workington Town grounds, catering to paramedics, carers and police." 

Kay and Simon Mattinson have been running the family grub truck for twelve years, after both looking for a change from their Sellafield professions. 

"Simon was wanting to be self-employed and was getting fed up of the travelling rat-race to Sellafield every day, as many do, and I wanted to have more flexibility when it came to my young family," she said.

"It was a pleasure to go out and just sort of be able to do something, especially when the NHS was struggling.

Whitehaven News: BUSINESS: Sizzling Simon's food truckBUSINESS: Sizzling Simon's food truck

"There was so much goodwill from the community when it came to giving us donations to help feed the heroes during the pandemic.

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"The community spirit was absolutely incredible, it made us so proud to live around here and be amongst similar minded people," she said. 

The van, which is a regular at Workington Town home games and Whitehaven home games, is available for private hire 'for absolute everything' - as long as Simon and Kay can get the van to it. 

"We've noticed since Covid people have a much more love of being outside - we've had inquiries this year that normally we wouldn't have got, I definitely think that's because of Covid.

"We're a small family business but what we do, we do it well. Our prices are really reasonable, food's really good, and we're not greedy, people always come back for that," she said.

Whitehaven News: MOUTHFUL: One of the products from the food truckMOUTHFUL: One of the products from the food truck

Kay said they love having the van situated on Whitehaven's Harbour as it really is a 'special place' but over the next few years, Simon and Kay look to take more of a backseat and let their three children take the over the reigns of the business. 

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