Leeds cafe owner nominated for ITV’s Woman of the Year award

Maureen runs a popular takeaway in Harehills and during lockdown sent out food packages to her neighbours for free, feeding anyone who needed it. Now, she’s being recognised with an award

A popular cafe owner from Leeds has been nominated for the Woman of the Year kindness award on ITV show Lorraine.

Maureen Wilkes, who runs the popular Afro-Caribbean restaurant Maureen’s Caribbean Takeaway on Roundhay Road, has been nominated for her incredible work feeding the community during the Covid lockdown.

The 63-year-old acted selflessly during the height of the pandemic, feeding others in her local community and sending out packages to neighbours for free, feeding anyone who needed it – including local key workers, emergency service staff, nurses and doctors.

Now she’s been recognised with the nomination, having been put forward for the award by her three very proud daughters.

Image: ITV

On Monday morning a reporter from the show surprised Maureen at her shop with the news, live on air, whilst members of the community and her family waited outside around the back.

Maureen herself had no idea they were coming and was incredibly emotional whilst being interviewed.

Now she is due to travel down from Harehills to London to attend the awards ceremony.

Speaking to the YEP, Maureen said: “”I have been feeding people for years, I just thought ‘let me do something’.”

She was reportedly grinning “from ear to ear” when she received the surprised visit from ITV’s reporter – and shed a few tears too after being taken by complete surprise.

Maureen is now looking forward to visiting London for the ITV awards ceremony.

Feature image – ITV

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