Vineyard volunteers help feed hard-working staff at the William Harvey Hospital

Staff standing in the reception area of the William Harvey Hospital, near the Friends shop. They are standing two metres apart, wearing masks, and holding paper bags containing the food donations
Staff with some of the donations of food

Published on 13 January 2021

Volunteers are delivering dozens of meals each day to hard-working staff across the William Harvey Hospital.

A team from Ashford Vineyard church are busy cooking a range of food to ensure frontline staff have a hot meal during their shifts. They are also co-ordinating an army of volunteers from the wider community who wanted to contribute.

The donations are distributed across the hospital, including to teams in the emergency department, intensive care, radiology, pathology, and on the wards.

Siobhan Jordan, chief nurse at East Kent Hospitals, said staff were overwhelmed by the gesture.

She said: “It is such a lovely offer that has made our staff feel cared for and cherished by their community.

“Teams appreciate the fact that someone is thinking of them and has taken the time to make something as personal as a home-cooked meal, at a time when they are so busy caring for others.

“It really is a wonderful thing for Ashford Vineyard to do and it has made a huge difference to staff morale at this challenging time.”

The church has also provided fridges to help store the meals, which are designed to be quickly reheated during breaks.

The Trust’s therapy teams have volunteered to take delivery and organise a rota so as many people as possible can benefit.

Feedback from the clinical teams was that the gesture was incredibly generous, and it meant the world to know people had taken the time to make sure they had hot food to eat during their busy shifts.

Nic Kimmance, senior pastor at the church, said everyone was delighted to be able to help.

She said: “We heard from staff that they were missing meals due to not having enough time to get to the canteen, or having no time or energy to prepare meals to bring from home, and we knew we could help.

“Our community was excited to be able to do something to support the hospital.

“We are delighted to be able to show the amazing staff that they are seen and loved and their work is appreciated by us all.”

Anyone who wants to donate to the project can text WHHMEALS 10 to 70085 to donate £10 or give any amount online at https://donorbox.org/whhmeals