Rugby's Fish Plus recognised for supporting the community through pandemic

Fish Plus leapt to action when the pandemic began affecting some of Rugby's most vulnerable residents

Michelle Hughes, of Wright Hassall, with Andreas Kattou at Fish Plus, in Rugby.
Michelle Hughes, of Wright Hassall, with Andreas Kattou at Fish Plus, in Rugby.

Rugby's Fish Plus has been recognised for its exceptional support of residents across the town through hardship brought about by the pandemic.

Fish Plus has been chosen as the first winner of Leamington-based Wright Hassall’s 175 acts of kindness initiative, which aims to recognise 175 acts of kindness in the community throughout 2021.

Andreas Kattou, who owns Fish Plus with his mother Angela, has supported charities throughout his career as a way to give something back.

And when coronavirus struck he was determined to support our town's most vulnerable residents.

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When Fish Plus was forced to close its doors for the first lockdown, Andreas and his then three-year-old daughter bagged up around a tonne of potatoes to give away to those in need.

Government guidelines then allowed the Bilton Road chip shop to re-open - and Andreas donated free meals to children, made contributions to Rugby Foodbank and even set up a stall in the town centre offering free battered pigs in blankets and chips to the whole community in December.

Andreas has now launched a ‘Sharing is Caring’ scheme, giving customers the opportunity to pay for extra meals which are given to those in need to encourage even more people to support their community.

The 175 acts of kindness initiative was launched to celebrate Wright Hassall’s 175th anniversary and asks members of the public to nominate members of the community who have gone above and beyond to support others.

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Each month employees from the firm then select a winner who receives £175 to donate to a charity of their choice.

Andreas said: “It was such a nice surprise to be selected as this month’s Acts of Kindness winner - it’s something I never expected. It’s even better that the prize is a charity donation which I hope to give to Rugby Foodbank, which provides such a vital service to the town.

“I’ve always worked hard to support others. I began supporting charities around 13 years ago after my cousin died of a heart attack and I started raising money in his honour to give something back to the charities that supported him.

“Then a few years ago we lost my nephew at just one month old, so again I wanted to raise money to give something back.

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“When the pandemic began I didn’t think twice about supporting my local community. You don’t always realise just how many people need an extra bit of help.

“I know people that have lost really good jobs because of the pandemic, and those who used to regularly donate to local foodbanks now rely on them to survive.

“Sharing is Caring is the latest scheme we’ve launched and we’ve already had a lot of support. It gives customers the chance to pay for extra meals which those in need can choose from to feed themselves and their family.

“We have some fantastic customers, so I’m sure it’s something we’ll see grow even further.”

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Michelle Hughes, of Wright Hassall, said: “Andreas and the whole team at Fish Plus have provided an incredible amount of support to their local community during what is an extremely difficult time for so many.

“They are a real inspiration and very worthy winners of our acts of kindness initiative.

“It’s wonderful to hear that the charity donation will be given to a local good cause which also helps people right across the Rugby community.”