During lockdown we saw some local businesses going out of their way to think about others, creating pay-it-forward schemes, distributing food packs, free coffees and just generally being all-round great people.

Now that we are slowly getting back to normality we urge you to support them as most of these schemes are still running and you can help out and support the kind of businesses we all want to see thrive in our community.

Simon Says Juice has chosen a very juicy way to say “thanks” to the staff at nearby St Vincent’s Hospital, with their ‘pay it forward’ packs. Grab something for yourself too with pick up and delivery options available on a wide range of juices, including the Daily Iso Survival Cleanse –  your Iso liver will thank you later.

Popular Surry Hills Pan-Asian eatery Chin Chin offers 50% off the bill for healthcare and front line workers. The menu changes around but is still pretty comprehensive with versions of their delish curries, stir fry and roasts available. Make sure you phone in the order and take your work ID along when you pick up your food.

Around the corner, fried chicken / sneaker store, butter is offering customers the opportunity to ‘butter it forward’ – buy a $20 ‘pay it forward’ gift voucher and butter will match it, enabling two meals (like a delicious soothing ramen bowl) to be available for a person in need.

Nutie Donuts sell doughnuts and cakes and meal packs and gluten free delights and even build-your-own burger kits. The ever changing menu is a wonderful collision of healthy and decadent meals and treats and to quote the team “no, we don’t count calories” (seriously who is even counting calories in a pandemic?). Nutie also offers a pay-it-forward option with meal packs (at cost price to you) going out to someone in need. Delivering pretty much everywhere.

Those legends at Casoni  are offering 49% off your individual bill if you are a local teacher, hospitality worker,  a nurse or doctor from St Vincent’s Hospital,  local GP or staff,  work in a local clinic or are a volunteer, or aged care worker. (yep basically if you’re on the front line, they got you guys covered). The Italian style takeaway-packs and cook-at-home boxes are all made from scratch with the freshest ingredients. Oh, and make sure to get the lasagne if it’s on the menu – you wont be disappointed.

Jazushi, a Surry Hills live jazz sushi restaurant is helping out-of-work musicians by offering 30 free meals every Thursday. And no, you don’t have to be a professional, nor do you have to be a jazz musician.

According to Jazushi, “from concert performers to bedroom beat-makers, from guitar shredders to tambourine shakers, all musicians are welcome to come and pick up a feed. Just let us know that you’re a musician when you arrive, and it’s on us!”

Hamilton Kings from Potts Point local Pan-Asian Honkas has set-up a home delivery service called Love Local. The idea was to keep his out-of-work staff in a job, but it’s grown to be much bigger than that, with other local restaurants and cafes using the service and taking advantage of the low, low prices he is offering compared to other delivery services, who are whacking cafes and restaurants with massive commissions. Love Local covers Potts Point, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.

Cohab Coffee on Oxford St, Darlinghurst opened their doors at the end of February and just two weeks later the pandemic was called and the lockdown began. A once bustling Oxford St was deserted and owner Christine Lani-McAllister was wondering how she would keep her business afloat in the foreseeable future. 

A Zoom chat with mates was the catalyst for a new idea.“I am literally a stone’s throw from St Vincent’s Hospital and my friends suggested they buy some coffees from me, to give to the nurses there. It was a way to keep my business turning over and say a thank you to the nurses who are such a part of our local community” Christine said.  Now she has also has set up a “pay-it-forward” system (via Instagram and Facebook) where anyone can buy coffee online and donate to healthcare workers. You can also buy soup or a sandwich for locals who access the service Rough Edges. 

Darlo Darlings is the brainchild of Darlinghurst local Mike Galvin, who is doing so much to connect community in the 2010 postcode. ‘The Darlings’, as they are affectionately called, have set up a kerbside, community ‘Darlo Pantry’ to help people who need immediate food supplies. The Darlo Pantry is a pantry for everyone who needs someone to lift the burden of their situation. Social distancing made it difficult for the community to get food to people who need it, and can’t afford it. This service helped in a big way!  All non-perishable goods and toiletries are welcome. The pantry is stocked, and depleted, regularly – so give if you can, and take if you need.

According to local Darlinghurst Psychotherapist Shane Warren “When we take our time to help others, in times of crisis or even during more standard times, we naturally get a buzz”.

“There are lots of reasons for this – it gives us a moment of relief from our own struggles, which often helps us put our situation into real time perspective, and we also get a little chemical high. Giving to others and, in particular when they thank us, our brain releases oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine – it’s nature’s combination of happy drugs going crazy wild in our brain” So there you have it – giving and receiving equates to a natural high, which is a win-win any way you look at it.