New UK-wide appeal mobilises within days to bring support to NHS staff serving on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis
25 March 2020
Family and friends of a London-based NHS doctor have inspired the launch of new fund which aims to deliver vital support to all NHS workers who are currently working to treat affected patients as well as helping to curb the spread of COVID-19.
HEROES: Help them Help Us; has almost raised £65,000 (of an initial target of £1,000,000) within the first few days of going live, immediately winning the support and endorsement of former Premiership footballer, Joe Cole, who has already stepped up as an official Ambassador of the appeal.
He says; “This is a fantastic new initiative set up to support the frontline NHS workers, the men and women ‘digging in’ for us in very difficult circumstances. We, the British public can help with this. It is a call of our generation to stick together.”
In addition to significant financial support Mr Cole will also be facilitating the opening of the kitchens of the exclusive restaurant, “Story” (Tooley Street, SE1) to ensure frontline clinical staff at London’s Guy’s Hospital receive a hot lunch before, during or after their shift.
Rebecca Pimenta, part of the team behind the pioneering project explains; “”Never have we been more called to pause our own dreams and ‘day jobs’ for a different kind of calling. Our NHS staff have become our frontline soldiers in this fight against COVID19. Now is the time to set aside our own agendas for a greater cause, turning our skills into ways that can support. To help them, help us.”
The new platform will support our frontline NHS workers in three ways:
- by facilitating the delivery of food via existing delivery infrastructure (restaurants, commercial kitchens and food service businesses)
- by obtaining PPE (certified personal protective equipment) including masks, gloves, gowns, and protective eyewear and working closely with Government and the NHSE to ensure targeted delivery
- by providing vital human health and well-being services, such as accredited counselling, emergency childcare, and transport and food drops where needed
The appeal has been officially launched with the projection of an emotive, short film onto the iconic White Cliffs of Dover to represent the national support for the NHS and the unfaltering efforts of its staff – from cleaners to Consultants – as they pull together to “go to into battle” on behalf of every citizen of the UK.
But the campaign isn’t about symbolism, it’s about very real and tangible aid that can be delivered swiftly and without unnecessary bureaucracy to those in need via small grants and immediate actions.
Just 2 days ago (24 March) the international cosmetics company, Estee Lauder, announced its donation of 500 FFP3 masks, to be distributed in partnership with Central Government to second line healthcare workers, in particular GPs and minor injury units in London.
Dr Dominic Pimenta, who helped to inspire the launch of HEROES concludes; “We are dedicated to a single ideal, ‘anything that makes an NHS workers life better’. NHS workers are on the frontline of a war, and they aren’t soldiers. There’s so much goodwill and support for the NHS right now, we just want to make sure their energy gets where it needs to go.
He adds; “This crisis will see many of my colleagues face the most challenging time of their lives. The government and management are swamped already, so we set up HEROES to support the frontline workers for now and far into the future. We must do all we can to protect and defend it at this difficult time.
“I am constantly inspired by the goodwill and support of the people we speak to. It’s a difficult time but we can get through this, together.”
Photo: Syda Productions / shutterstock.com