There will be mixed emotions at Hazelwood following the news that the London Irish Professional Rugby Squad has been permitted to return to train at Hazelwood under the Stage 1 Minimum Operating Standards (MOS) for the Return to Professional Rugby Training during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Consequently, in view of the restrictions imposed by the MOS, particularly social distancing and disallowance of facility sharing, this has, unfortunately, necessitated the winding down of the #PoweringTheNHS initiative and the final meal-delivery left the Club’s Hazelwood base on Friday 12 June.
PoweringTheNHS have delivered over 50,000 nutritious meals to doctors, nurses and care workers at 17 NHS Hospitals across London and the Thames Valley over the last 11 weeks.
The concept was created by Edward Crossan, Vice Chairman of Powerday, and has been funded by Powerday, with generous contributions from Barratt London, Novitas Partners, Undercover Events, Kylemore, Eamon Lynam, British and Irish Trading Alliance and the London Irish Playing squad.
A number of the London Irish Playing Squad have volunteered their time to deliver the meals, including Harry Elrington, Motu Matu’u, TJ Ioane, Blair Cowan, Conor Gilsenan, Theo Brophy Clews, Tom Parton, Matt Williams, Jacob Atkins, Terrence Hepetema, Izaiha Moore-Aiono, together with First Team Head Coach, Les Kiss, Assistant Coach Declan Danaher and Academy Coach James Lightfoot-Brown.
Edward Crossan says that #PoweringTheNHS has exceeded all his expectations.
“Words cannot express how proud I am of every volunteer that has donated their time over the last 11 weeks to help the NHS staff during their months of need and prepare and deliver 50,000 meals,” he commented.
“The selflessness these individuals have shown, has been exceptional and really showcases what our staff are like as people; it has been an incredible effort by the whole team.
“I would especially like to thank our chef Bogdan Konecki, our General Manager Fiona McHugh, Alex James, James Molyneux, John Lynch, Sonia Bosher and Sam Cox for their tireless and invaluable efforts; they have been the backbone of the #PoweringTheNHS campaign.
“It is regrettable that we’ll not be able to continue with the initiative but, while we won’t be providing meals to the NHS we will be supporting staff in other ways going forwards.”
London Irish President and Owner Mick Crossan has today announced that the club will offer NHS staff working in hospitals and care homes who have been receiving meals during the #PoweringTheNHS campaign tickets to a first team match when the club moves to the Brentford Community Stadium, when it is safe to have spectators.
An allocation of tickets will be provided to each hospital and care home so staff members, along with family and friends, can enjoy a day out together getting behind London Irish as they take on the Gallagher Premiership.
“The time, effort and sacrifice our front-line workers have put in during this pandemic has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Mick.
“Our volunteers, who have all been fantastic, have seen first-hand how hard and tough this has been for these key workers and it really brings home how crucial their roles are, and it is not taken for granted.
“This ticket donation is just a small token of our appreciation.”
The #PoweringTheNHS team have delivered to the following:
North Middlesex Hospital
West Middlesex Hospital
Kings College Hospital
Goodinge Health Centre
Royal Berkshire Hospital
Frimley Park Hospital
Royal London Hospital
St Mary’s Paddington
St Georges Tooting
Charing Cross Hospital
Northwick Park Hospital
St Luke’s Hospice
St Hellier Hospital
St Bartholomew's Hospital
Royal Surrey Hospital
Hawkesdale School teachers