A HOTEL'S owners have come up with a way to keep the wolf from the door which will benefit those who take part.

John and Sue Rudden, of the Grassington House Hotel, in Grassington, have set up a ‘pay it forward’ scheme to protect the jobs of its 20-strong staff long term.

The couple have set up a Crowdfunder page which allows customers of their hotel and restaurant to pledge funds now which can then be redeemed in the future for meals or accommodation. Each pledge is rewarded with 20 per cent added value when redeemed.

The loyal regular Grassington House customer base has responded generously to the scheme, but with some way to go to the target, the Ruddens hope that more support can be generated from the wider community to secure the future of the business which is in its 12th year.

John explained “We’ve done everything we can to support the food lovers in our community and it’s heart-warming that our crowdfunding appeal has enabled people to show their appreciation by helping us to survive this difficult time.”

Very early on in the current crisis the Ruddens became aware that they were among those businesses whose eligibility criteria fell between government aid schemes so that, while staff could be furloughed, their own income and the future viability of the business was not protected. There was no local council grant and the bank declined to provide support.

When they first found themselves staring into the abyss of lockdown, the Ruddens established themselves as champions of their local community. It made perfect sense to John, as a master chef, to make sure that none of their produce went to waste. John and Sue transformed their terrace into a pop-up outdoor shop, called Ruddens Rations.

They offered seven types of flour, yeast and oil for villagers to take away in their own containers, along with meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and dairy produce. A delivery service was established for the elderly and self-isolating. They also provide haute cuisine takeaways for people to enjoy at home.