NHS HEROES could soon be served with food supplies and household essentials on their work doorstep as part of a nationwide effort to serve those standing on the frontline of the UK’s battle against the coronavirus outbreak.
In a true display of Blitz spirit, Jason Mawer has launched ‘Help NHS Heroes’, which aims to set up pop-up shops at every hospital across the UK to provide food and supplies just for NHS staff who are caring for the thousands of Britons struck down by coronavirus. The aim is to provide a pre-created box of food to feed a family of four for two days, three meals a day.
NHS workers will gain access to vital food and household essentials by showing their ID badges.
Mr Mawer said he decided to launch the campaign because NHS workers, working 12, 24, and 48 hours shifts, have been left unable to buy basic essentials from supermarkets as panic buying sweeps the UK amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said he felt compelled to act when he watched footage of exhausted critical care nurse Dawn Bilbrough in tears at a supermarket as she urged people to stop panic-buying after she was left unable to even purchase “basic food items” following a 48-hour shift.
He told Express.co.uk: “I thought I’ve got to do something here.”
Mr Mawer’s initiative will start at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage on Tuesday with the hope of reaching every hospital across the UK.
He added: “What really hit home is when I was with the CEO of the Lister.. they’ve only got 20 ventilator beds, they’re going to need 70 and they don’t know where they’re coming from yet.
“And we had to walk past the temporary mortuary.”
Supermarkets, including Tesco and Marks and Spencer, have recently announced plans to reserve trading hours just for NHS workers and elderly people so they are able to get their basic supplies.
But Mr Mawer said this did not go far enough, saying: “People are not checking cards to see if they’re NHS workers, so anyone could be turning up between 7 and 8am.
“All the people are on shift work between 7 and 8 can’t shop and that’s most people.
“And they’re going in and the vulnerable are there so the frontline workers who are dealing with the most sick people are going in shopping when the most vulnerable are shopping – the elderly. It’s bonkers.”
It comes as Express.co.uk is proud to be part of the Reach Plc NHS Heroes campaign, which launched on Friday, which is encouraging members of the public to drop a heart on the interactive map to show their appreciations to the wonderful NHS.
Mr Mawer has teamed up with working with a consortium of food and logistics providers, including Ocado, Shiply, Sales Force, Igloos, Fresh Direct, Brakes, Voxpopme, Chillermatic and Lewis Marquees, to allow hospital care workers to register and place an order to coincide with the end of their shifts.
He said he was keen to help our NHS heroes because “they help us, they keep us alive so now it’s our time to help them.
“I have been inundated by local people, corporates, and the press. It’s just amazing.”
Mr Mawer’s plan includes ‘the NHS Hero (Hospital Care Worker) who will be able to register online on an app using their NHS ID and place orders including a day and time slot for when they finish their shift.
Meanwhile Mr Mawer will also be working to provide Help NHS Hero Workers, who operate the pop-up stores at the hospitals.
They will need to be able to check in a consignment of orders, verify and distribute orders.
Mr Mawer is hoping to introduce the Help NHS Partners, which would include companies that have access to a forecast of orders by hospitals and can provide provision boxes, supplies, lorries for delivery.
He is also hoping to get a company on board to create thank you cards to go in every box for every NHS worker.
Help NHS Heroes has also been working with a company Voxpopme to film members of the local community near Lister Hospital to send messages of support and gratitude which will be broadcast at their local hospital.