It was a typical Monday morning in the Wild Goose. Jean, our cook, was prepping the kitchen for the day’s cooking. It was mild out, the sun was shining, and the volunteer team from the night before had even left things in a reasonable state.
All was well. That is, until Jean tried to turn on the extractor fan. Nothing happened; there was no reassuring whirring as the fan breathed into life. The green ON light remained worryingly dull. This was not a good sign.
Now I know what you’re thinking – a broken extractor fan isn’t the end of the world. I know I don’t even always remember to turn mine on. However, the situation in the Wild Goose is a little different from home cooking. When you’re making 600 meals a day, extraction is highly necessary – especially when there’s fish involved.
On this particular Monday, it was fish pie for lunch. Something had to be done, and quickly, so the team called our go-to repairs man, Andy. Hoping it would be as simple as changing a fuse, the team got on with their day. The pie went in the oven.
After Andy arrived, it soon transpired that there was more than a blown fuse to worry about. The entire fan needed replacing. The team had no choice: they had to ask Andy to find a costly replacement unit. Everyone who came to the Wild Goose that day went away well-fed, but the team went home feeling a little deflated – and smelling more than a little of salmon.
But all was not lost. The next day, Andy rang the Bristol branch of Lindab, a ventilation specialist. The cost of a new fan was a sizeable £800. But Andy explained where the fan was for, and what the Wild Goose does for vulnerable people in Bristol. Thinking he had nothing to lose, he asked whether Lindab might consider donating it. Steve, the branch manager, paused for a moment, and said he’d see what he could do.
The following morning, Andy received a phone call telling him that they’d be happy to donate the entire £800 fan, and that it was going to arrive the next day! True to their word, it arrived this morning, despite usually taking three weeks to be delivered from Germany.
We’re enormously grateful for Lindab’s generosity. It’s support from people like them and yourselves that means we can keep on cooking safely for the most vulnerable people in our community. Thank you.