Chatsworth will be providing more than 1,200 freshly prepared ready meals to a Derbyshire food bank in the run up to Christmas to help support families in crisis. 

Every week, 150 of the family favourite recipes created by the Chatsworth chefs are being delivered to the Jigsaw Food Bank. Operated by Church in the Peak, the food bank serves communities across Derbyshire and the Peak District. 

More than 4,000 meals have already been provided to those in need since the initiative began earlier this year. Chatsworth initially contacted the food bank looking to donate produce unlikely to be used in its restaurants due to the lockdown. The chefs swung into action after finding out good quality ready meals would make a real difference to the people being referred to the food bank for help. 

Since April, chefs in Chatsworth’s Carriage House Café kitchen, who usually prepare meals for visitors, began cooking a range of ready meals for those in need. The meals are then frozen and donated to the food bank in Matlock. 

On the menu are family favourites developed by the Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop including cottage pie made with local beef, lasagne, macaroni cheese and mushroom and leek risotto, to name just a few.

Head of catering Chris Bailey-Jones said: “Being able to provide a service that plays to the strengths of our team at such a challenging time has been wonderful. We’ve all felt that by taking a little extra time in our working week we’ve been able to do something that really makes a difference to the local community.”

The meals are delivered weekly to the Jigsaw Food Bank which provides food to individuals and families in the local community who find themselves in a crisis situation.

The ready meals initiative is made possible with funding from Chatsworth alongside personal contributions from a number of individuals at Chatsworth. The Chatsworth Estate is represented on the Devonshire Group community forum. Chaired by Lord Burlington, son of the Duke of Devonshire, this group-wide forum was set up at the start of the Covid pandemic to reach out and support local communities.  

Andrew Lavery, Chief Executive of the Chatsworth House Trust and Chief Financial Officer for the Devonshire Group, said: “As part of our commitment to our shared future we have been looking at how we can work with our local communities, and also help in the fight against the coronavirus. Donating to the food bank to help support families in these difficult times is important and we hope to continue this throughout the winter months.”

A large number of charitable organisations are supported by the Devonshire Group through donations of money, items and complimentary tickets, and by offering savings on commercial rates. In 2019, charitable giving across the Devonshire Group amounted to £334,452.

For more information on Chatsworth and the community, visit


Notes to Editors

About Devonshire Group

The Devonshire Group comprises the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s interests, charities and businesses throughout the UK and Ireland, including Chatsworth, which sits within the Derbyshire Estate, the Bolton Abbey Estate in North Yorkshire, the Lismore Estate in County Waterford, and the Compton Estate in Sussex. 

The businesses include visitor attractions, shops, restaurants and luxury accommodation at Chatsworth, Bolton Abbey and in Lismore Castle in Ireland.  The estates include tenanted businesses and residential property, a property development business with a pipeline of 2000 homes, sustainable forestry and farming businesses and an estate farm shop at Chatsworth. The Devonshire Group employs approximately 1,400 colleagues across their estates which spread over 65,000 acres.

The Duke of Devonshire and his family are at the centre of the Devonshire Group and they are supported and guided by an independent body of trustees.  

The group is committed to benefitting heritage, people and a shared future, by preserving, restoring and enhancing their heritage assets, by being a significant contributor to their communities and by being seen as a leader in the way they do things.   

Chatsworth House Trust

Chatsworth House and many of its contents, the gardens and 737 hectares (1,822 acres) of the surrounding landscape are leased for a nominal sum to a registered charity, the Chatsworth House Trust, established in 1981. The 12th Duke and Duchess pay rent to the charity to live at Chatsworth and work with the charity and others to welcome Chatsworth’s visitors.  Every penny of visitor admission income goes directly to the Chatsworth House Trust, which is dedicated to the long-term preservation of Chatsworth House, the collections, garden, woodlands and park for the long-term benefit of the public.

The Devonshire Collections

One of the largest and most significant private collections in Britain which has been evolving for five generations and reflects the 16 generations of the Devonshire family. At Chatsworth the diverse collections, which are continually added to, encompassing Old Masters to contemporary ceramics and artefacts from Ancient Egypt to cutting edge modern sculpture and digital portraits, can be seen in the house and garden.

Devonshire Educational Trust 

The Devonshire Educational Trust (DET) is an independent charity that works in partnership with the Chatsworth House Trust and Bolton Abbey Estate to provide learning opportunities across the Devonshire Group. The charity was established in 2004 to enhance the educational experiences of children, young people and adults. 

For press enquiries, please contact:

Liz Bee (0772 0257983)

Steve Houghton (07917 671516)

Redbrick Communications (0115 9101500)

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