Two local businesswomen have today (6 April) launched a Food4Heroes scheme for Kettering General Hospital as a thank you to NHS staff during the coronavirus outbreak.
Kate Toller, from Sudborough, and Wendy de Capell Brooke, from Corby, have seen similar efforts working across the country and wanted to do the same for their local hospital.
National efforts began after stories of tired nurses struggling to get food from bare supermarket shelves hit the national headlines.
Determined to do their bit to support local health workers Kate and Wendy contacted the Food4Heroes charity www.food4heroes.co.uk with the idea of providing free meals for hospital staff.
Kate said: “We just want to bring the local community together to support the NHS staff who are doing so much for local people at this difficult time.
“We contacted friends, Stuart and Holly East, and their son and daughter George, 19, and Kitty, 14, at The Old White Hart pub in Lyddington and they have agreed to cook 300 meals per day for Kettering General Hospital staff as a starting point from Monday, April 6.
“We have enough funding to pay for the first week’s ingredients – the pub staff are working for free – and a same day courier company, Route1Express of Northampton, are delivering the meals to KGH for free. But we do need financial support to continue to the scheme – we’d urge everyone to consider a donation, no matter how small.
“We are making sure that the meals are high quality and healthy and we are looking for other local businesses – perhaps other pubs, restaurants or bakeries – to support our efforts.
Wendy said: “The idea will be that hospital staff will get a good meal, which is microwaveable, and can be refrigerated or frozen, for them to use whenever they need it.
“It is a small helping hand for them at a time when they are going to be supporting a lot of local people who have contracted the virus.”
Other friends of Kate and Wendy are also helping out. Debbie Groome from Butterfly Crafts, of Woodford, is making cakes, Ady Pendred, a sign writer from Islip, is providing signs to support the effort, Joe Cornes from Becketts Foods providing labelling, and Dev Brahmachari-from Display UK, part of the Smurfit Kappa Group, providing boxes.
Kettering General Hospital’s #WeCare Team, Team Leader, Jayne Chambers, said: “This is a fantastic idea which will be very much appreciated by our hard working teams because it helps to make their lives that bit easier. It is being targeted at our staff who work on into evening and will really appreciate this extra support.
“We have been very touched by the many offers of support we have received from our local community and I want to thank everyone who is doing so. Thanks to Kate and Wendy for the time and effort they have taken to get this scheme started and we very much hope it will be a great success.”
Kettering General Hospital’s Chief People Officer, Mark Smith, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number of local individuals and businesses who have come forward to show their support for their local hospital – and this is a great example of just how much people care and want to help.
“It shows our staff just how much local people are thinking of them and valuing the work they are doing every day in the fight against the virus.”
People wanting to donate can do so through the web-page https://www.athene-communications.co.uk/food-4-heroes-kettering/
The first delivery today (Monday April 6) consisted of home-made sausages with onion gravy, mash and peas and a tomato and cheese pasta option for vegetarians. Also Chocolate Tiffins for desert from Debbie Groome. The menu will be different each day for 14 days and then repeat again.
Anyone who wants to support the Food4Heroes effort at KGH can contact Kate on email@example.com.
To support the hospital in any other way contact #We Care Team Leader Jayne Chambers on firstname.lastname@example.org
People wanting to donate can do so through this webpage or by visiting www.athene-communications.co.uk/food-4-heroes