A QUIET, dedicated community champion has been praised as a “hero” in his inspirational effort to support the homeless and needy.

Andrew Smith, 34, the manager of Dinnerstone Restaurant in Uppermill, galvanised other local businesses, restaurants, pubs and kind-hearted locals in his super-human weekend initiative.

He said: “We aimed to cook as much produce from generous donations and turn it into hearty meals to distribute to as many homeless charities as we can. The response was absolutely amazing.

“In addition to our own team effort, The White Hart, The Waggon, Muse, The Granby, Cross Keys, Shalimar, Sorrela, Rioja and Diggle Lock took the ingredients and cooked some dishes up for us.

“Any other stuff we will donate to food banks and hostels,” he explained.

And on Sunday the volunteering public returned, collected vegetables, some which they donated on Saturday, took them home, peeled and chopped and returned as the prepared ingredients.

Andy quipped: “We had enough vegetables to keep a million rabbits happy for a life time. They did a great job.”

In the first lockdown Andrew suggested to the team from Dinnerstone donate their March tips to a homeless charity which was unanimously taken up and the team at the White Hart at Lydgate followed suite.

The Waggon in Uppermill prepared more than 1,000 meals ready go to the homeless shelters over the next couple of days.

In a note on social media they said: “A huge thanks to our staff that gave up their time to come and help and an even bigger thanks to everyone that donated items we turned into meals, It wouldn’t have been possible without you.”

And Andy reserved praise for his own helpers Amy Shepherd, Frank Williams, Joy Perrins, Pippa Robinson, Mike Leighton and Shannon O’Dowd for their support.

Charles Brierley who owns Dinnerstone and the White Hart, added: “Led by ‘Smiffy’ my hero, the people of Saddleworth have once more proved themselves to be a kind and thoughtful community.”

To donate Andrew’s homeless efforts, which so far has raised £600, go to: