"Thank you so much for your kind donation! I am a doctor and single mum working in a busy London teaching hospital. When COVID hit our hospital I could not afford childcare as my au pair had to return suddenly to her home country. My 3 year old had to stay isolated with my parents for over a month. It was a difficult sacrifice, being apart from him but I knew at that time, I was needed most by the sick patients in my hospital. This donation has helped me afford a temporary nanny to assist when I’m required to work late and take my son to the hub nursery. Thanks to your generosity I am reunited with my son and can keep helping our NHS patients in a job that I love! "
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He stunned audiences around the world when he won Netflix Blown Away 2 - and now global glassblowing icon Elliot Walker is auctioning off his work to raise money for the NHS.
To thank healthcare workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, the 32-year-old artist has created two large glass spools which, with the help of London Glassblowing, will now go under the hammer to raise funds for the Healthcare Workers’ Foundation.
The two pieces, titled The Threads Connecting Us, measure approximately 40cm in height and 15cm in width - and 50 per cent of the funds raised from their sale at auction will be donated to the charity. They each come with a separate needle. The spools design was initially thought up when London Glassblowing - set up by the UK’s oldest glassblower Peter Layton back in 1976 - made a call-out for ideas for a live demonstration in which others could take part to celebrate the easing of lockdown restrictions and keep the excitement alive following Elliot’s success on Blown Away.
After completing his MA degree in Applied Arts, Elliot worked at London Glassblowing for eight years after being spotted by the studio while doing a demonstration with a friend at Waterperry Gardens in Oxford.
“They wanted to do something which other people could be involved in to bring everyone together and to mark the human response to the pandemic,” said Elliot. “So I came up with the idea of the spools, where people could help apply the threads, with the separate needle on each representing the vaccine.” Elliot says his inspiration behind wanting to help came from his mum, Alison Innes, who came out of retirement during the pandemic to aid with the vaccine roll-out and to help with community outreach programmes at places of worship around the Midlands.
“My mum worked for the NHS for 25 years as an administrator at a GP surgery,” explained Elliot. “She came out of retirement to help with the emergency. Her husband was in an at- risk category, so she was very pleased to be a part of it. “The pandemic and lockdown was very hard for everybody. For me, we were quite lucky because my partner Beth and I work together, so we were able to continue working. And I was lucky to have the show. It was very hard for everybody to get any work or make money as the studios were closed.”
The two large spools will go under the hammer on July 5 to coincide with the 73rd anniversary of the NHS. A small number of limited edition spools in three colours are also available to purchase exclusively from London Glassblowing as part of their Summer Show, which is currently running and ends on July 17 - https://londonglassblowing.co.uk/
The Summer Show this year coincides with 45 years of the Bermondsey Street studio - and the 84th birthday of its founder, grandmaster of glass Peter Layton, which takes place on June 21.
Peter and Elliot will be among the artists whose work will be exhibited at the show, as well as Tim Rawlinson, Alison Lowry, Bruce Marks, David Reekie, Cathryn Shilling, and Colin Reid - plus many more.
Four artists are also set to give talks via Zoom as part of the event, where they will discuss their latest works and the processes involved in producing their creations. The London Glassblowing Summer Show will take place at the Bermondsey Street gallery, with pieces also available to view and buy via an online catalogue at https://londonglassblowing.co.uk
To celebrate the completion of Julie Bennett's series of #portraitsfornhsheroes paintings, she has produced a beautifully printed 100% cotton tea towel featuring her portraits to help raise funds for the Healthcare Workers' Foundation and as a mark of thanks for the incredible contribution of all healthcare workers during the pandemic.
During the first lockdown in 2020, Julie Bennett volunteered to paint portraits of frontline NHS workers as part of Tom Croft's social media project #portraitsfornhsheroes.
This exclusive tea towel is designed by the artist, and printed and made in the UK. This large tea towel will complement any kitchen or can be hung on the wall as a piece of contemporary art (frame not included). Each tea towel is neatly presented within a designed belly band, signed by the artist!
You can find the tea towel on sale here: https://www.juliebennett.co.uk/nhsheroesteatowel
All profits from the sale of the tea towel will go to the Healthcare Workers’ Foundation.
Healthcare workers across the UK are still under incredible strain. That's why we have launched HWF Rooms - an initiative providing support in refurbishing rest facilities, to ensure that staff have quality breaks to get them through long working days.
Staff from healthcare settings are able to register their wellbeing room via our online platform, Healthchain. Sign up today or refer a healthcare worker you may know to begin the transformation!
"This very generous grant will alleviate so much pressure off me having to juggle my finances to find this additional cost ... You are true HEROES to me and my family for your kindness and this money will take the financial strain that has been keeping me up at nights. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart."
Anonymous NHS worker grant recipient
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When HEROES launched just five weeks ago, we had dreams of raising £1M to support NHS staff. Knowing the critical state our NHS was in due to Covid-19, from our own experiences as doctors, we knew how these funds could be used. And now we've done it. We've raised £1M! Enormous thanks to everyone who has supported us, and to amazing people like YOU for donating and sharing our cause, we’re profoundly grateful. NHS doctors, nurses, cleaners, carers, admin, GPs, paramedics – this one is for you.
My name is Andy, I am 24 years old, I am from London and I am an Actor. I am taking on the 3 highest mountains in the UK, Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon and I aim to summit all 3 peaks in 24 hours.
Why are you doing this? I am raising money for the Healthcare Workers Foundation to remember the work that has been done by healthcare workers through the pandemic. I wanted to personally challenge myself as I like to be proactive and this is my way of saying thank you. I found that the Healthcare Workers Foundation supported the whole spectrum of need for healthcare workers and I want to help towards a cause bigger than me.
What is your favourite part of HWF? I like what HWF does as it recognises and supports everyone in a healthcare setting from cleaners, porters, nurses and doctors and this is what I wanted to help.
How are you training for this challenge? I am training for this challenge by cycling, regularly walking, eating healthy (better than I ever have) and following the training pack I received which includes stretches and training. I am also going to Wales in June with my family to train for the challenge.
Who are your biggest supporters? My parents are my biggest supporters and at first were surprised that I took on this challenge but were the first to donate. I am glad that they are fully vaccinated now.
Can you tell us one personal thing about you? I am an Actor and a part time nanny.
How can we help? Please help me to smash my fundraising target and share the story of my challenge with everyone you know. Please sponsor me directly on Go Fund Me here
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We have launched our new online platform, HealthChain! Designed by healthcare workers, for healthcare workers, our platform enables easy access to our growing number of wellbeing services and resources. From financial assistance with childcare to access to counselling and delivery of PPE – we have healthcare workers covered! We are also connecting members to a wide range of discounts and benefits of national and local businesses. Healthcare workers can claim their free ALLY face cover on sign up!
1,600 skilled seamstresses are working tirelessly to make essential protective scrubs by hand for NHS workers in need. Materials purchased by HEROES were cut by Rolls Royce then delivered by SHIELD – great teamwork!
Using materials purchased by HEROES, Rolls Royce are laser cutting 2,000 PPE visors a day in their factory, in order to meet the critical demand. These are then distributed to hospitals by SHIELD.
I wanted to say thank you so so much for all of your amazing donations which has certainly helped our staff at The Royal Free Trust get through this most difficult time. I cannot even begin to explain the difference it has made and has helped me hugely in ensuring we have had regular donations of food, hand creams, lip balms and everything else coming in regularly.
Carla Bispham, Barnet Hospital
Huge thanks The Ian James Poulter Foundation and chef Tom Sellers for delivering 400 food boxes, all packed with wonderful ingredients from Smith and Brock, saving NHS workers from supermarkets queues. #HelpThemHelpUs #NHScharity #NHSworkers
NHS workers who are responding to COVID-19 are under incredible strain. That's why we've partnered with counselling platform Harley Therapy to offer free services, as well as offering a number of other free resources to NHS workers via our website.
You’ve helped your local NHS hospital go over and above. Thank you so much for your compassionate donation of 200 Easter eggs to help support the staff of Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust to get through these challenging times. Your generous contribution was greatly appreciated by our staff who are working hard to fight Covid-19, especially on the front line. The support has helped teams across our four hospitals:, Royal Sussex County, Royal Alexandra Children’s, Princess Royal Sussex Eye We appreciate all of the efforts of the community to come together during this unprecedented time. Thank you for joining in and doing your part to make it better for BSUH staff and ultimately, our patients.
Sarah Tusker, Royal Sussex County Hospital
We recognise that COVID-19 has brought with it numerous extra costs for NHS workers; additional childcare, transport, food and accommodation for those isolating away from family. So we're introducing a new "NHS Support Grants" scheme which offers up to £1,500 per individual. We're proud to be taking this next step in offering tangible support to those in need.
Schools closed, lockdown and relatives in isolation make childcare a serious concern for NHS workers. With childcare.co.uk we're giving access to free certified volunteer childcare and offering childcare grants of up to £1,500. We hope this eases some worry for those who are doing so much.
Over the next eight weeks we have earmarked the following funds, from our incredible supporters and donors, to deliver real impact to the NHS frontline.
Here is the breakdown:
Already your generosity is making a huge and tangible impact in our hospitals and communities, but this is only the beginning. Continue to donate, to keep getting vital aid to our frontline workers today.
In a bid to encourage people to stay at home, we partnered with agency IRIS and photographers across the UK to launch #StayHomeHEROES. The initiative is simple, we're asking people to post their every day domestic acts which, in lockdown, feel more like legendary triumphs. From home schooling to cutting your own hair, these are the moments which make us feel like #StayHomeHEROES while also protecting the real heroes, those NHS workers on the frontline.
Family-owned, craft biscuit bakery Percy’s have put their generations of baking knowledge to good use by creating a special HEROES shortbread biscuit to "dunk, nibble, share, care". The Percy family will donate all profits made from the biscuits, which are available to buy online at Amazon, Harrods, and Virginia Hayward, and in store at Blakemore's and Spar.
Despite the tough climate for small business, we've been amazed by how many have offered their support to HEROES. Like our new partners Candy Kittens, who are donating 10p from every Candy Kitten product sold to HEROES while also developing a special sweet which donates all profits – coming soon.
We're honoured to be working with cricket legend Sam Curran to raise awareness and spread the HWF message. Sam has already raised more than £10,000 on his own Go Fund Me page, great work!
We wanted to give NHS workers at Newham, Homerton and Whipps Cross Hospitals a reason to get outside and enjoy the sunshine, even if only for a few minutes on their break, so we teamed up with Five Star Catering to serve free ice creams from their trusty ice cream van. We think it did the job! helpthemhelpus.co.uk
A live at home workout, hosted by Woz Ldn and Beauty and the Blog, raised more than £5K for HEROES when they asked for those taking part to donate as little as £1.
Our continuing partnership with D and D restaurants brings together chefs from Butlers Wharf Chophouse and Radici to work alongside many of the groups' furloughed staff, delivering hundreds of hot meals to staff.
Just want to say a huge thank you to all the HEROES crew for our latest food parcel! Treats like this go along way for a moral boost amongst the team when we are working hard around the clock! Keep helping us by staying at home - it is tedious I know and everyone is having to make sacrifices, often difficult life changing ones - but at the end of the day you can’t put a price on your health and the health of your families! Keep safe guys and stay home!
Dr Abi at Queens Hospital, Romford
In it's first week, our #ArtForCampaigns campaign increased donations to over £750,000. Now we're happy to announce that world-renowned British Photographer, David Yarrow, has generously donated a full print edition of his latest image, ‘Our Pride’. He describes the lioness as an embodiment of the brave spirit required by every NHS worker, volunteer and patient experiencing this global disaster. Visit www.artforheroes.co.uk to donate and you'll receive your own digital print, or donate from £500 to purchase an unbranded fine art print of 'Our Pride'. For every physical print purchased, another will be gifted to an NHS worker as thanks for their valued work!
We teamed up with Candy Kittens to deliver 2,500 sweets 4 London hospitals: North Middlesex, Hammersmith, St Mary's and Charing Cross. Thanks to Candy Kittens for help spread happiness to NHS workers and letting us drive the Candy Van.
It was good karma all round when the team at Karma Cola delivered 10 cases of their Fairtrade cola to Newham Hospital. We're delighted to be working with this fantastic company, who have been making Fairtrade cola which gives back to their Sierra Leone supply chain since they began.
We know how important a hot meal can be to an NHS worker who's rushed off their feet, so we worked with Five Star Catering to setup a food truck in Newham Hospital that provided 130 meals to staff! We look forward to dishing out more meals in the near future.
TEDI London is shaping the next generation of engineers. They're also the owners of two 3D printers, which they signed up to our collaborative project SHIELD on a short term basis, in order to print personal protective equipment (PPE) that is critical for NHS staff. We're calling out to all designers and printers to do the same.
Moments to relax are few and far between for NHS workers, when those at London's Whipps Cross Hospital do have time they'll be all set with candles and body creams thanks to Sol De Janerio and Hunter Grace PR.
Incredible efforts from Chef Francesco Mazzei and his team who worked all Easter weekend to produce 150 hot meals a day, for staff at the Royal London and Nightingale Hospitals. After the success of this big cook, he'll be back at it again next weekend.
We've partnered with Selfridges department store for their weekly #KindnessChallenge to give someone the chance to win a hamper full of pampering products for an NHS hero in their local community. Entries are made by nominating their hero on Instagram, telling us why they deserve to win – we've already received lots of special mentions.
In light of lockdown in London, the Noxy Brothers were forced to close all of their coffee bars across the city. But when they found out NHS workers at Northwick Park Hospital were going without their coffee because the local shops had closed too, the boys transported their Burlington Arcade bar to the hospital so they could serve free coffee to all NHS staff for the foreseeable future. Running on donated coffee from Ozone Coffee and volunteer baristas, they're bringing a moment of comfort to those working to get us through the crisis. And they've raised more than £15,000 for HEROES as well.
We were absolutely overjoyed to hear that NHS HEROES like Nurse Flaavia from Market Square Surgery, Waltham Abbey, feels safer wearing one of the visors which we printed in our 3D printing hub, SHIELD. Feedback like this is why we started our organisation and what keeps us driving forward.
"Thank you to all the heroes who helped organise food for all the radiographers at RIE and to Tony Singh for cooking it all for us. We were absolutely blown away by everyone’s generosity and thinking of us during this pandemic. We had so much we shared it out to all our colleagues working with us in the Emergency Department and ITU."
– Radiographer at Royal Infirmary Hospital, Edinburgh
When Nasrin found out about the HEROES food drops on Instagram, she wanted to help us right away. She dropped us a message and in a few days was cooking 24 portions of chicken biryani in her home, to be delivered to her local North London Hospice in Finchley. Another day, another team of NHS workers fed!
As supplies of life-saving PPE run critically low, we needed a way to make it ourselves. Uniting with fellow industry leaders under the name SHIELD, we opened a 3D printing facility funded by Heroes developing new designs for sustainable masks and visors, in addition to other critical PPE, on a mass scale. We’ve called on designers, printers, suppliers and donors across the UK to join our effort and help get equipment into the helping hands that really need it. Find out more at shieldproject.org
We connected skincare brand Irene Forte with Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, where they delivered 2000 face masks, 1000 cleansing milks and up to 200 hand creams.
We've partnered with Maddox Gallery to launch Art for HEROES. Thirty fantastic artists have donated their work to support NHS frontline staff, with all proceeds from every piece sold going to HEROES. Buyers were quick – this beautiful piece sold in just a matter of hours!
Jay Rutland, Creative Director of Maddox Gallery and ambassador for Heroes says: “We owe a profound debt of gratitude to all of the health professionals who are on the front lines fighting COVID-19. The Maddox family of artists, employees, and clients have joined the rest of UK in doing all that has been asked of us - to stay home while so many NHS staff expose themselves to a global crisis that has captured the world’s attention.
Our doctors and nurses need our support now more than ever before, and we couldn’t be more proud to work with over twenty artists as we launch the 'Art For Heroes' campaign, supporting the charity organisation HEROES."
You can view the collection of art at www.artforheroes.co.uk
We helped chef Yui Miles deliver 130 portions of her homemade Thai curries to staff at Broomfield Hospital, Essex. Yui even insisted on delivering wine too, so the doctors and nurses could take some home to enjoy.
It was happy faces all round when frontline staff at Royal Brompton Hospital received 300 delicious hot meals, cooked and dropped by the Chilli Bees Catering team. In fact, the delivery was so well received, we immediately started an on-going partnership with Chilli Bees to ensure lots more drops like this could be made.
A massive thank you to William White Meats for my HEROES food box delivery. We received a lovely selection of meat (vacuum packed and frozen in portion sizes), bags of frozen veg, strawberries and pitta bread. I'll be starting at The Nightingale (Excel Centre) tomorrow, and it's so reassuring my family I'm leaving behind a well stocked freezer. We are so grateful!
Louisa Pavlakovic, Doctor, The Nightingale Hospital
We're proud to announce Francesco as a charity ambassador. Alongside his Radici team, he's provided more than 5000 hot meals to NHS frontline workers. Together with D and D Chophouse, we have now delivered more than18,000 meals to hospitals across the UK.
I cannot thank HEROES and their volunteers enough for their charitable act. Big special shout out to Rebecca from William White Meats who has been so kind and helpful. COVID-19 has changed the whole dynamic of the workplace in hospital - many of my colleagues were ill or having to self-isolate themselves. After long working hours we were faced with the horror of not being able to get fresh goods from the supermarket. Through this initiative I have had fresh chicken breast and some fruits sent to my doorstep - that is one less thing to worry about and a few more hours of rest for myself. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.
Johnson Neo, Doctor at Whipps Cross Hospital
We’re dedicated to doing anything which makes an NHS worker's life better. In this case, we teamed up with London department store Selfridges, premium car service Addison Lee and Contractorsappeal.com to deliver 1,600 Easter eggs to hospitals, GP’s and hospices across the UK so they could enjoy a well earned treat.
Thank you for your help in sourcing a fridge for our doctor's room. This room will be used for doctors having to stay in hospital over night as a result of the change in work patterns due to COVID-19.
Deborah Enting, Guy's Hospital
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the email and saw that I was granted this money, I cried and was relieved to get this donation. I am a children’s community nurse and had to support my husband and provide for my kids on a single salary working part time through the first wave of Covid-19. My husband’s income was reduced to £0 and we couldn’t afford to send my 2 year old to nursery. When we did decide to get my daughter into nursery, it was to allow my husband to return to work and earn some money whilst I continued to work. The donation has made a big impact, I was able to pay back some money to my credit card which I had to use for nursery, buy new clothes for my children and keep my nursery fees in balance. Its been such a difficult time adjusting to the pandemic and being isolated from family, this money has had a positive impact on my own mental health and to be granted this money, just means the world and I couldn’t thank the team enough.
Zalika Begum, Children's Community Nurse
HEROES is delighted to announce the launch of our very own Spotify playlist, #MusicForHEROES, now available through the Spotify app.
Music has always and will always be a much-loved and celebrated art. We at HEROES have, with support from Spotify, launched our #MusicForHEROES playlist to lift the spirits and pay tribute to our invaluable NHS workers. The playlist will be a central sonic repository for the HEROES of the NHS and is designed to get the community involved by saying thanks through the act of music.
- 65% feel safer in public when wearing a mask and 68% when others do so, but a third have not worn any face covering in the past fortnight.
- Government should make wearing of face masks mandatory to build a feeling of safety and security to match its welcome economic measures.
- HEROES and Ally enter partnership to champion the wearing of masks to protect the NHS.
The Chancellor announced a range of measures yesterday aiming to stimulate business and consumer spending, but this is only addressing half the battle and more needs to be done to make the public feel safe when out in public.
New research from HEROES, the charity set up by NHS workers for NHS workers, and Ally, a new provider of sustainable face coverings, has found that 65% feel safer when wearing a mask in public, a figure that rises to 68% when seeing other people wearing face coverings. 71% of the public also feel safer when seeing people working in businesses doing so.
We have been busy creating thousands of smiles by delivering 400,000 self-care products to frontline NHS staff across five of the hardest hit hospitals.
We worked with the Body Shop and Big Yellow Self Storage to make this mammoth task a reality and give back to frontline staff. The items on offer included 60,000 luxury lip balms, 150,000 deluxe shower gels, 70,000 bars of scented soap, and a range of other wellbeing products, with the gifts delivered by hand to NHS workers by the HEROES team.
So far, HEROES has raised over £1 million since the outbreak of COVID-19, which has enabled us to supply nearly 100,000 frontline NHS workers with sustainable visors, scrubs, reusable respiratory masks, hand sanitisers, therapy services, financial grants, food supplies, and transport.
Now, the provision of self-care products hopes to offer staff a moment of luxury as part of HEROES’ commitment to protecting the physical and mental health of NHS workers.
“Whilst the supply of PPE, food and financial aid are imperative to protect and support our NHS workers during these difficult times, self-care is equally important,” said Dr Dilsan Yilmaz, Co-founder and CEO of HEROES. “Frontline staff have been tirelessly and selflessly caring for the nation and we are pleased to be able to provide them with these wellbeing products that, we hope, enable them to take a moment of care for themselves.”
Charmaine Yankey was one of the thousands of NHS staff to get the welcome surprise this week, and said: “It's with an open heart that I thank you on behalf of all of us. This is the biggest donation we have received, which has enabled us to treat all staff. It is wonderful to be pampered, especially in these challenging times, and you have given us an opportunity to feel both pampered and valued. I give Body Shop and HEROES my vote as Barts Health HEROES. Thank you to infinity and beyond.”
Storage business Big Yellow Storage played a vital role in housing the products before HEROES delivered to the hospitals.
Big Yellow Group chief executive Jim Gibson said: “As part of our commitment to local communities, we support charities up and down the country. Now more so than ever, it is important for us to work together to help in any way we can. By donating space to HEROES, we have been able to support their endeavour to provide all-round support to NHS staff whilst they fight this pandemic.”