The first meal distribution for Support the Frontline has been a storming success, with more than 100 meals given out to NHS frontline staff as they finished 12-hour shifts at St Mary’s Hospital.
The new Support the Frontline campaign is a way that the Island community can give a little practical support, and perhaps even more importantly, a morale boost to NHS staff who have worked so hard throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Choice of four nutritious dishes
Organisers Andrew Palmer and Robin Courage took the first shift with the team, handing out free, pre-cooked, chilled food from a refrigerated trailer, from 7.30pm last night (Wednesday) as staff headed for home.
With a choice of four nutritious dishes, all lovingly prepared by the chefs at the Garlic Farm and Bembridge Sailing Club, proved popular with hungry NHS workers.
Palmer: The reception we got was great
“The reception we got was great. Doctors and nurses alike appreciated the gesture and said it would be a welcome treat to get home and heat up a nice meal rather than having to cook from scratch.
“Many of them said that they would be passing the word around, so we will need to build up our daily supply of meals.”
Courage: Need to raise more funds
“We have been really thrilled with how much support we’ve already received from local businesses, and we can report back that all the work and organisation to get to this stage has really been worth it. Staff were pleased to receive the food, but even more touched by the sentiments behind it.
“One nurse told me that she lived alone and knowing that Islanders she had never met appreciated the long hours she’s put in over the last year really made it all worthwhile. People are being generous, but we do need to raise funds to keep the campaign going.”
Palmer: It’s great to know it’s appreciated
Andrew was back on duty at 7.30am this morning and a number of people spoke to him as they went into work to thank him for the meal and tell them how much they enjoyed it. He said,
“The whole idea of the campaign is for us to thank them – but instead they were thanking us. It’s great to know it’s appreciated.
“I was particularly moved by an ICU cleaner who went back to get his parking money as a donation.”
IW NHS: This generosity is a wonderful boost
An Isle of Wight NHS Trust spokesman said,
“A huge thank you to everyone involved in the Support the Frontline initiative that is bringing a smile and delicious meals to our dedicated staff to enjoy at home.
“Our Trust is still responding to the impact of the pandemic, one year on and this generosity is a wonderful boost.”
The Campaign is now raising the funds needed to purchase ingredients and packaging for the local chefs and kitchens who are donating their time, facilities, and inspiration. You can find out more about the campaign and make a donation at www.supportthefrontline.info.
News shared by Support the Frontline, in their own words. Ed