Thanks a Million!
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | original April 8, 2020 (updated April 24)
We reported earlier that Damian, Helen, and Matt Lucas had partnered with John Vincent of LEON Restaurants to feed NHS workers during the CoVid-19 crisis.
FeedNHS is campaigning to raise as much money as possible for NHS Trusts to get hot, healthy meals to NHS teams on the front line. They are starting their initiative with the hardest-hit London hospitals trusts Imperial, UCHL, Royal Free and St Barts, but they want to go further and take this nationwide.
And now, FeedNHS has become the fifth largest crowdfunding appeal on JustGiving raising over $1.1m (£1m). The campaign has reached more than 100% of the £1,000,000.00 target (£1,171,495). Initially providing 5,000-6,000 meals a day to hospital staff, FeedNHS now estimates it has the funds to serve up to 25,000 hot meals per day across 55 hospitals for the next six weeks, and looking to expand locations from London to Brighton, Birmingham, Cardiff and Manchester. Damian was quoted in Birmingham Live saying,
“But it means we can now kick in with a second round of funding – which is essentially what we are trying to do – in order to take it to Birmingham, Cardiff and Manchester, because the virus will move through those city centres.”
In addition, The Press and Journal reported that FeedNHS has teamed up with Mealforce, BaxterStorey, Feed Our Frontline and charity NHS Helpforce to tackle the task in pledging to serve hospital sites in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. But they want to keep going, as more funding is needed to add an extra 15,000 meals a day and to extend provision beyond six weeks, providing 600,000 more meals. You can help feed NHS workers one hot, healthy meal a day here.
Damian, Helen, and Matt have continued to use their voice to move the appeal to work with University College London Hospitals Charity, ensuring the funds raised go toward vital medical work to tackle CoVid-19. One of the first tweets sent out showing the FeedNHS efforts:
First hot meals from us at #FEEDNHS @RealMattLucas @JohnV_LEON going out to St Mary’s Paddington today! Hot meals for NHS front line soon to start all over UK. Please donate at https://t.co/FAPLmAiu6n to help FEEDNHS! pic.twitter.com/zjDIv2Xpi5
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) March 30, 2020
From the campaign’s page, Damian provided an update on April 2, 2020 sharing the excitement that Matt Lucas would be re-releasing his Baked Potato Song to help raise funds for the FeedNHS coalition:
Matt re-recorded his popular song to remind us what we need to know, but in the happiest of ways. You can listen to it here and also buy the exclusive single here, helping raise even more money and serve even more meals to NHS staff.
Brian May of Queen joined in on the Thank You Baked Potato song:
— realmattlucas (@RealMattLucas) April 12, 2020
John Vincent, the Chief Executive of LEON, said he hoped he could bring together entrepreneurs across the industry to harness their resources. Vincent told the Guardian, “We have launched #FeedNHS because we have been inundated with direct requests from NHS staff and from their families, asking us to feed them. These amazing people need us. They are already going without sleep. If they also don’t have good food, they will burn out faster, function less well and become ill themselves.”
Message to NHS workers: If you need help for you, your team or your department, email firstname.lastname@example.org – someone will respond quickly. There are a great number of food brands that are ready and keen to help, serving food. If you are one of those, email email@example.com – someone will get in touch with you quickly too.
For more information, visit FeedNSH.com.