Posted on February 2021 By Jamie Southwell
Communities of families in Hampstead banded together in the coronavirus lockdown to deliver thousands of food parcels to NHS frontline workers operating endlessly to save our country.
When Boris Johnson announced the 3rd national lockdown on January 4th following the appearance of a new strain spreading throughout the Southern regions of England, healthcare workers in Hampstead faced one of the biggest pressures experienced yet.
With the ever-growing hospital admissions in London, families in Hampstead decided to unite their efforts into donating free meals for the frontline workers under a campaign called ‘Feed the Frontline’. Producing over 6,000 edible packages to ensure workers at The Royal Free Hospital were to have something to eat during their extended working hours of upwards to 13 hours.
A key organiser in the campaign, Amanda Rudman, 53, who had been assisting the community since the first lockdown in March 2020, said: “We live literally 100 yards from The Royal Free.
During the first lockdown last year I was approached by a doctor who said that NHS staff were really struggling for parking. We got involved in offering parking spaces to staff.
We set up a WhatsApp group to organise what doctors and nurses needed, it morphed into a service where we’d provide what they need whether it was coffee capsules, nutrient bars or even PPE."
As the workload for the NHS staff at The Royal Free began to drastically rise in the 3rd national lockdown, Amada and her team decided to start issuing out the free food parcels. She continued by saying: “I got back in touch with the doctor I had been speaking to and asked what we could do.
It really was worse the second time around and what became apparent very quickly was that staff couldn't leave the hospital to get food.
They were working 13 hour shifts and due to new safety regulations it could take them up to an hour and a half to get through the canteen."
They literally couldn’t take the time off to get food."
So far those involved have managed to raise over £50,000 and cut costs by delivering the food themselves. One of the family’s part of the team owns a commercial bakery and from just last month have delivered over 4,000 croissants.
An astonishing effort from everyone in the project.