A Ribble Valley landlady is showing just how much her community means to her by assisting needy locals and offering them free meals.

Laura Smithies, who along with husband Phil, runs the Brown Cow in Clitheroe, is lending a helping hand to residents in and around the town who have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mrs Smithies is providing a selection of main meals, daily, for free, for people self-isolating or those financially affected by the coronavirus,

She said: "The Brown Cow as been in my family for 25 years.

"Me and Phil took over five years ago.

"It's a real community pub with lovely locals.

"I've always been a feeder and give meals to our customers that live alone.

"It just seemed the right thing to do as people are going to be self isolating and it's a real worry."

Mrs Smithies said where possible, the meals, which will change daily and have so far have included cottage pie, chicken broth, corned beef hash, pea and ham soup and butter pies, can be delivered, but are also available for collection.

A maximum of three dishes per house per week will be given out.

She continued: " My mum has COPD and I know how dangerous the virus could be for her and how frightened people are becoming.

"Getting out for people is hard and the lack of food in shops is scary.

"Lots of local businesses and people have given money donations as well as food and tubs to help me out, and offered to deliver the food.

"Even the Salvation Army have taken a few meals.

"I've been doing a three-tub-a-week per person limit and it's free.

"Getting food at the moment, even for me, is now becoming hard so any help would be great.

"I know it will get busier in the near future and am pleased to have so many offers of help.

"If people need food or know anybody that does, they can message me on Facebook."

A spokesperson for Clitheroe Residents Action Group (CRAG), said: "Individuals and local businesses have contributed to this scheme and it’s good to see our community coming together to help those in need at this desperate time.

"If anyone can contribute anything towards the effort it will be much appreciated.

"This is a very generous offer from Laura and her helpers, so we want to ensure people don't misuse the generosity by requesting food they don't qualify for."

Residents are asked to place their orders by messaging Mrs Smithies on Facebook messenger and if collecting for people, they should let her know what is wanted and leave a name and a collection time.

This will ensure food isn't given to the wrong people.

Mrs Smithies has reiterated that fresh meals need to be used within four days of the date on the lid, or they can be frozen for later use.