STAFF at a popular Oxford restaurant forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic have still been busy in the kitchen preparing free hot meals for the parents of ill babies and children at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Cosmo, in Magdalen Street, temporarily closed its doors to customers in March but the restaurant is now making 50 hot meals a day for the parents of patients in Oxford Children’s Hospital and neonatal units.

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The restaurant’s chefs decided to return to the kitchen to show their support for the NHS and after hearing the hospital was looking for new ways to support its staff and patients.

Zoe Pooley, Oxford Children’s Hospital matron said: “Children and babies in hospital have been able to have only one parent by their side, but because of the isolation, and the fact that normal restaurants and facilities haven’t been open we needed to find new ways to support them.

Oxford Mail:

“The Oxford Hospitals Charity team came up with a solution and have worked with Cosmo to bring fifty meals in every day for the parents across the Children’s Hospital and newborn areas.”

She added: “We are incredibly grateful for this support, and so appreciate Cosmo thinking of us and providing healthy balanced meals over the past few weeks."

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Ms Pooley said hospital staff and the families have been 'really touched' by the kind act, saying: “The support from the whole local community, working with our hospital charity, has meant the world to hospital staff and the patients we care for. Thank you.”

The family restaurant, which serves more than 150 dishes from around the world, is delivering a variety of oriental and Indian cuisine.

Oxford Mail:

Cosmo spokesman Kan Koo said: “Cosmo is a family restaurant and we understand how incredibly difficult it must be for the parents of poorly children and babies, especially at this extraordinary time.

“We felt it was our duty to do something to support them and the key workers across the city of Oxford who are working around the clock to save lives.”

He added: “Cosmo has always offered a discount to NHS staff and this is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for the work everyone at John Radcliffe is doing.

“We hope it gives staff and patients a little morale boost to know that we are thinking of them and that a hot hearty meal gives them the energy to face the day with renewed vigour.”

Oxford Mail:

Cosmo is part of army of local businesses which have stepped up to provide free meals to the John Radcliffe and other hospitals in the county during the pandemic.

Many have focused on helping ensure NHS staff on the frontline of the crisis are able to access hot, healthy meals.

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Examples include mother and daughter duo Hester and Connie who last month were providing almost 1,400 meals a week to JR nurses through the Food4Heroes scheme.

Banbury-based company, Hello Fresh, announced in March it would be providing hundreds of their meal boxes to staff for free.

There have also been countless takeaway donations and offers for hospital staff throughout the outbreak. To donate to Oxford Hospitals Charity visit