Help NHS Heroes set for national success after kickstarting in Stevenage

PUBLISHED: 09:02 16 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:56 16 May 2020

Help NHS Heroes first launched at Stevenage's Lister Hospital. Picture: Danny Loo

Help NHS Heroes first launched at Stevenage's Lister Hospital. Picture: Danny Loo


An initiative that started at Stevenage’s Lister hospital earlier this month to help NHS workers access essential food services looks set to be rolled out across the nation after its early success.

The Help NHS Heroes campaign was kickstarted after critical care nurse Dawn Bilbrough’s tear–jerking social media post urged shoppers to stop panic buying.

The campaign’s founder, Jason Mawer, jumped into action after seeing Dawn’s dismay at the empty shelves.

The first on–site food box service, which has enough food for two days of family meals, will feed a family of four and can be picked up on the hospital’s doorstep. Contents include all the key food groups, and the boxes are sold at cost price making this a non–profit venture.

Earlier this month, we reported on the Help NHS Heroes launch at Lister Hospital, with a temporary pop–up supermarket for hospital staff supplying vital food and household essentials.

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In total, 1,600 staff at the Lister signed up for the scheme and more than 1,000 of the food delivery boxes have been distributed to date.

Nick Carver, chief executive of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, says: “This is a fantastic initiative which provides our staff at the Lister with a convenient and stress-free way of getting their food shopping.

“We are proud to be the first trust to benefit from this service and wish to thank the many volunteers and companies who have made this happen.”

The widespread success of the pop–up supermarket and food box service has led 40 organisations across the country to express interest in bringing the campaign to their hospitals.

A further facility has been built at The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading and includes a cafe serving breakfast free of charge as well as accommodation for back-to-back shift workers.

Founder Jason Mawer comments: “We have been incredibly lucky to receive the support of established experts such as PWC and Salesforce to ensure that we have the technology to support the programme on a local and national basis.

“We’ve had messages of thanks and expressions of relief about on-site access and we are committed to making this work on a national basis.”

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