NHS staff are joining forces to show their gratitude with food – as they look to repay the love and support a community has given.
Staff at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have pledged to give back to the people of Teesside for the incredible generosity they have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a gesture of thanks, as staff do their food shopping over the next few months they have committed to giving generously to local foodbanks in Stockton and Hartlepool.
Supplies will be left at several collection points across the organisation and then taken by the Trust’s volunteer drivers to local foodbanks.
Barbara Bright, director of corporate affairs and chief of staff, said: “We have been truly humbled by the response of our community over the last few months.
“In our time of need they have made us personal protective equipment, they have made us food and donated us water, they have raised money for us and they have knitted and made things for us to help lift our spirits.
“They have been absolutely incredible. It’s so important we give back to those who are going to need our help more than ever before.
“It’s a challenging time for the whole community at the moment. Foodbanks support people who can’t afford the essentials in life.
“We are calling on our staff to give generously over the next few months to our local foodbanks so that people in need get that vital support.
“We know how community spirited our staff are – which is why we know this campaign will help make a real difference.”
Amanda McNeany is a Macmillan lung cancer specialist nurse based at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
She has been collecting for the Holy Trinity Church (West View) foodbank collection in Hartlepool since the outbreak began.
She said: “Now more than ever before, it’s vital we come together to support the most vulnerable and needy out there.
“Our staff have been so generous over the last few months – but it has dropped off quite considerably recently.
“The situation for those in need continues to worsen and I am continuing to collect for the foreseeable future, for items including dry foods, tinned goods and toiletries.
“I know our staff will come together like they always have done to support our community and give something back.”
Reverend Rosalyn Hall from Holy Trinity Church has experience herself of using foodbanks after spending a year homeless on the streets of Hartlepool when she was just 17.
She said: “We are delighted to join forces with our incredible NHS staff at Hartlepool to help those most in need in our community.
“Our foodbank collection, and others like it, change lives. They provide the basics and food to those who may not otherwise have a meal as well as essential toiletries.
“It’s so important as strong community organisations, places like the church and the National Health Service come together to help those who need it.
“It has proved to be a successful and highly productive example of teamwork.”