In an effort to support the vital work the NHS is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Powerday teamed up with London Irish Rugby Club at the end of March to make and deliver thousands of meals to hospitals and care homes across the capital.
The concept was created by Edward Crossan, Vice Chairman of Powerday, and was funded by Powerday, with generous contributions from Barratt London, Novitas Partners, Undercover Events, Kylemore, Eamon Lynam, British and Irish Trading Alliance and the London Irish Playing squad.
London was at the epicentre of the UK’s Coronavirus outbreak, with the most recorded cases and deaths. NHS staff, including those not working on the frontline, were heroically working around the clock to ensure patients received the very best care. But, as the numbers increased, the strain grew; compounded by the fact these key workers were struggling to purchase food items from shops and supermarkets.
To make sure those working on the frontline were cared for, Powerday and London Irish launched #PoweringTheNHS – a campaign which donated more than 50,000 meals to hospitals, care homes and hospices in London and the home counties.
BITA President Paul Whitnell spoke to Mick and Ed Crossan from Powerday about this initiative, and it was decided that BITA would help get the word out about the amazing work the campaign was doing. To do this, we created a #PoweringTheNHS video and ran a JustGiving campaign where our members raised £620 which has been passed on to the London Irish team.
The nourishing meals were all cooked at London Irish’s Hazelwood training ground in Sunbury, West London, where chefs from the Hazelwood kitchen team have been kind enough to volunteer to cook a range of healthy dishes. These were then transported to various hospitals by Powerday and London Irish staff, including Harry Elrington, Motu Matu’u, TJ Ioane, Blair Cowan, Conor Gilsenan, Theo Brophy Clews, Tom Parton, Matt Williams, Jacob Atkins, Terrence Hepetema, Izaiha Moore-Aiono, together with First Team Head Coach, Les Kiss, Assistant Coach Declan Danaher and Academy Coach James Lightfoot-Brown.
Throughout the campaign, strict rules were enforced regarding social distancing as per the government’s instructions, with the welfare of the staff at the top of the organisations’ minds. The kitchens made up to 500 meals every day, all going to feed hungry NHS workers. By early June, the campaign had delivered 50,000 free meals to these amazing workers, with the final meals being delivered by HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
The response has been incredible with one nurse saying “Thank you so much for all the of food being delivered, it means so much that we have the availability to sit down and have lunch with the busy times that are ahead.”
Edward Crossan, Vice Chairman of Powerday, commented: “Those working on the frontline during this pandemic are true heroes. The number of lives they have saved over has been in the thousands and it’s likely we all know someone affected by this disease. It goes without saying that we owe them a great debt of gratitude.
“I would especially like to thank our chef Bogdan Konecki, our General Manager Fiona McHugh, Alex James, James Molyneux, John Lynch, Sonia Bosher and Sam Cox for their tireless and invaluable efforts; they have been the backbone of the #PoweringTheNHS campaign.”
We are proud of all the work that Powerday, London Irish and many of our other members have done during this crisis. We always like to think of ourselves as a community of businesses, and this story and others like it cement that fact.
If you are in the London area and work at a hospital or hospice or know of anyone vulnerable and in need, then please email [email protected]