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Two Well Known Midlands Chefs Cook for Military Patients and their Families

Former multiaward-winning chef who suffered a traumatic injury,Matt Davies is bringing together Michelin-starred chef, Tom Shepherd of Upstairs, Lichfield and Thom Bateman of the well-known The Flintlock in Cheddletonto cook a special meal for military patients and their families at Fisher House, part of University Hospitals Birmingham Charity, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Almost six years ago, Matt Davies, who was recently quoted as the Godfather of Staffordshire, had a tragic accident at work and suffered severe burns and loss of the use of his arm. Due to the nature of his injuries, he was treated by Burns and Plastics Surgeon, Colonel Mark Foster at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Matt has had over 60 operations so far and has unfortunately had to stop doing the job he loves. However, through his treatment, he found out about Fisher House and the important work it does and decided to raise thousands of pounds to help keep the facility running for families in need.

When a member of the British military is badly injured, they are taken straight to the QE to be treated by major trauma doctors who are experts in dealing with these types of injuries. Many families then have to travel to Birmingham from all over the UK and even abroad to be with their loved ones but are faced with paying for hotels, petrol and parking. Fisher House takes all that stress away by offering them free accommodation on site, with only a 5-minute walk away.

It's also a home for military personnel and veterans who may have other illnesses and need treatment at the QE, from cancer treatment to transplants. They could be in for a number of weeks, even months, so this offers their family a safe space to stay and be close by.

Matt said, “After enduring over 60 plastic surgeries over nearly six years, struggling with my own life-changing disability, living with a new normal and mental health issues, I work tirelessly to give something back to the hospital, the wonderful Surgeon, Lt Colonel Mark Foster, to whom I owe my life and UHB Charity; this is why it’s so important to me!

On Monday 11 September, Matt is bringing two chefs with him to Fisher House to cook a three-course luncheon for patients, families, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine staff and Fisher House staff to give them a treat and say thank you. He is bringing Tom Shepherd and Thom Bateman, both of whom were in the Great British Menu and have local restaurants; Michelin-starred Upstairs by Tom Shepherd in Lichfield and Thom Bateman’s, The Flintlock at Cheddleton.

Michelin-starred chef, Tom Shepherd, who was a finalist in the Great British Menu, said, “As a chef, I was very sad to hear of the life changing accident that Chef Matt Davies suffered. Matt is a great chef and a lovely man, one who was the creator and leader of Staffordshire’s food scene for many years. He has huge love, respect and thanks for all the doctors, nurses, staff and patients at the QE. When he asked me to come and cook for some of the incredible patients and staff there, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough.”

Chef Thom Bateman, is an award-winning chef and Great British Menu competitor. He said, “Despite the daily challenges he faces following such a terrible accident, Matt’s energy and passion for what he does is unrivalled; to me, this is truly inspiring. When Matt asked me to cook with him for the patients there, it was never a question of if, just simply when and where.

It costs the charity £40 a night to host a military family in their time of need. Over the last 10 years, we have supported over 7,000 families and provided over 40,000 nights of accommodation for families who needed it.

Fisher House receives no government or military funding; it relies solely on incredible supporters to keep its doors open. If you would like to support future military families in their time of need, please click here for more information and how to make a donation:

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