This week over 5,000 meals were delivered to frontline NHS doctors, nurses and care workers.

Hazelwood General Manager Fiona McHugh has been the logistical lead of this operation, working with the many volunteers to ensure an efficient process which has now seen 17,000 meals provided in total.

Fiona, who has been General Manager at Hazelwood for four and a half years, has a close link to the NHS as her mum Martina was an NHS nurse for most of her career at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary Hospital. Martina sent Fiona the below letter earlier this week to show her immense pride for what Fiona and the PoweringTheNHS team are doing.

“It was lovely to receive the flowers and card from mum. She knows all too well the hours and dedication frontline staff are putting in and she is the main reason I was so keen to support in providing meals for doctors, nurse and care workers.”

The number of people that have put their hand up to volunteer and get involved has been incredible as Fiona alludes to.

“I’m extremely proud, it is great that there are so many people offering to volunteer and help.

“I think it is mainly because everyone is so touched by the NHS in some form or another, whether its directly with themselves or a family member or a friend. It is overwhelming and quite emotional really to see how many people are wanting to give up their time to come and support.”

A rota has been devised to ensure everyone has the chance to get involved, except for head chef Bogdan Konecki, who is in each day cooking all the meals.

“Everyone is pulling together, obviously Bogdan is the driving force in the kitchen, but it’s the people he is surrounded by, the 10, 20 volunteers we have each day helping to chop, peel, cook and deliver the food.

“We have people as young as 14 volunteering and it is a spectrum of volunteers, with staff from Hazelwood, Powerday, London Irish and friends of staff too. Everyone wants to get involved.”

It is phenomenal the work that Fiona, Bogdan and the entire team are doing, and they are committed to continuing this fantastic work.

“We are nearly 1/5 of our way towards our 100,000 target and still have a fair way to go, but anything is possible with the team we have driving this initiative.”

London Irish President, Mick Crossan, said: “Fiona is an unbelievable lady and nothing has been too much trouble since we asked her if she would help with the initiative. The only downside about her is that she supports Derby County Football Club!”

Meals have been delivered the following hospitals, schools and care homes:

St George’s University Hospital, North Middlesex Hospital, Kings College Hospital, Ealing Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, Royal London Hospital, Goodridge Health Centre, Hawkedale School, St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, St Hellier Hospital, West Middlesex Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, Frimley Park Hospital and Royal Berkshire Hospital, St Luke’s Hospice, St Silas Church Islington

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