A TAKEAWAY boss is aiming to provide up to 1,000 free meals to NHS staff and vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis.

Mohim Uddin has made the pledge after setting up an online fundraiser to help him raise money to cover the cost of the scheme.

Mr Uddin has already used his Ruby takeaway in Braintree town centre to provide free meals to staff at Broomfield Hospital.

And he is now teaming up with the First Stop charity in an effort to continue helping doctors and nurses on the front-line, as well as care home residents.

He said: "Our campaign has been a huge success so far and we have had a lot of kind messages of support and encouragement. This has really inspired us to want to do more and the whole community, so together we can all help to make a real meaningful difference.

"We know that there are many people who are very vulnerable at this time, such as the elderly in care homes and those who have a severe health condition, having to self-isolate.

"We want them to know they are not forgotten.

"There are a lot of people sat at home wanting to help out so we're asking for a donation of £5 which is the cost of one meal."

The scheme will see between 50 to 100 free meals handed out to NHS staff and care home residents each week.

The Ruby is also hoping to work with the First Stop Centre to find vulnerable people in the community who would also benefit from a free meal.

Mr Uddin has reopened The Ruby after temporarily closing the takeaway when the lockdown was announced.

He says it is being staffed by family members to ensure the business is complying with social distancing guidance.

He added: "We're doing our best to keep it running. Business has been quite normal with people still ordering meals.

"But we want to keep helping the community during this difficult time so are really hoping our fundraiser will be successful and people will be able to help us out."

To make a donation, click here.