17 April 2020
Volunteers have been working hard to ensure NHS nurses, doctors and care workers receive nourishing meals whilst working on the front line. This week the team have surpassed 11,500 meals delivered, including over 1,000 in one day.
The #PoweringTheNHS team would like to thank Gary Ennis from Barratt London, John Gilligan from Novitas Partners and Roy Strickland from Undercover Events for their kind donations.
BITA (British and Irish Trading Alliance) have been incredibly supportive of the #PoweringTheNHS campaign since its inception and they have created a Just Giving page so their members can contribute to the cause. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/project-nightingale?utm_term=BqAqKaBG9
We have also decided to share this as we have received several emails from supporters wishing to donate.
Young volunteers from the local community, Oisin Kearney and Raef Murphy, who have both come through the ranks of London Irish from the age of seven, played for the club’s Academy and represented the Irish Exiles, and local college student Patrick Hart have spent up to 10 hours a day, for the last three weeks, washing and peeling potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sanitising crates and labelling and packaging meal boxes.
The three lads have become an integral cog in the wheel of this operation, not missing a day since it was launched.
“It is a small bit to repay the good work that other people are doing,” said Raef Murphy.
“We can’t forget that this virus has perhaps brought out the best in people. You have to respect the fact that NHS staff work 12 hours shifts all the time and this extra added pressure is heaping more strain on their work-load, so a little bit of work is our way of helping out.”
Oisin, Raef and Patrick have been the mainstays of this campaign, working hard to support Chef Bogdan Konecki in the kitchen down at Hazelwood.
Oisin Kearney said: “The coronavirus fight is a national effort, and as we currently have the time to help, both Raef and I see it as a moral duty to do what we can to help out as we go through this most challenging of times.”
Patrick Hart is a local college student who has given up his time to support the campaign. “When I heard about the scheme, I knew it would be a fantastic cause to contribute to. Frontline workers are doing a fantastic job for the NHS and this is just a little bit that I can give back.”
Had this pandemic not taken place Raef would have been carrying out his university studies. “I have quite a lot of university work to be getting on with, so I am using my time to work through that, but not a huge amount else. I guess this is why there is no real burden for us to come in and help when other people out there are doing so much for us.
Hazelwood General Manager, Fiona McHugh was full of praise for the volunteers. “All three lads have been brilliant. They just roll up their sleeves and get on with any task put in front of them.
“I dread to think how many carrots and potatoes they have peeled in the last few weeks, but like I said, they just get on with it.
“The effort of the whole team has been amazing, but all of our younger volunteers have been exceptional.”
This video showcases what the #PoweringTheNHS campaign is all about.