Categories Charity Helen Interviews Personal and Family Life Philanthropy

Damian Lewis Leads Restaurant Campaign to Feed Health Workers – April 9, 2020

Coronavirus Appeal With Leon Restaurants Will Supply 6,000 Meals a Day

by Richard Vines | Bloomberg | April 9, 2020

The actor Damian Lewis initiated a campaign with the Leon healthy fast-food group to raise £1 million ($1.2 million) to feed National Health Service workers partly to overcome a feeling of helplessness he felt under lockdown.

The FeedNHS campaign, in alliance with Leon co-founder and chief executive John Vincent, is currently serving about 5,200 meals a day to critical-care workers at London hospitals and aims to reach its initial goal of 6,000 daily meals sometime next week. The campaign has support from restaurant groups including Wasabi, Tortilla, Peach Pubs, Rosa’s Thai, Hop, Pizza Pilgrims, Franco Manca, Farmer J, Tossed, Haché, Abokado, Dishoom and Nusa Kitchen.

“Helen (McCrory), my wife, and I have friends who are in quite senior positions in the NHS and the clarion call kept coming from everybody that it was difficult to get fed during the day and do you have any influence?” said Lewis, whose awards include an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance as Nicholas Brody in the TV series “Homeland.” Most recently he’s starred as a hedge fund manager in “Billions.”

Lewis and McCrory, who appeared in the Harry Potter movies and “Peaky Blinders,” are in touch with Vincent daily after reaching out via a mutual connection. The aim is simple, Lewis says:

“When you have done four hours straight, working ventilators in PPE (personal protective equipment) gear, you can walk out and someone will hand you a hot, healthy meal,” he said. “We all want to do something that can help. Staying at home is an odd feeling, like being under house arrest, feels cowardly, oddly, even though it is the most important thing you can do.”

Lewis said he’s been experiencing a range of emotions during the coronavirus lockdown in a telephone interview from his home in Suffolk, in the east of England:

Continue reading Damian Lewis Leads Restaurant Campaign to Feed Health Workers – April 9, 2020

Categories Charity Helen Personal and Family Life Philanthropy

FeedNHS Update – April 8, 2020

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.

Continue reading FeedNHS Update – April 8, 2020

Categories Billions Charity Helen News Personal and Family Life Philanthropy Print Media Rookery Productions

Coping With CoVid-19 Crisis: Damian and Helen on Feeding Health Workers After Filming Halted – April 6, 2020

Helping Others: First Parking, Then Pizzas, Now FeedNHS.com

by Jake Kanter | Deadline | April 6, 2020

As coronavirus crashed through the TV business, husband and wife Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory were among those cast adrift. Lewis was making Season 5 of Billions, while McCrory was on the brink of going into production on Season 6 of Peaky Blinders. Now, both are holed up in their British countryside home in Suffolk. But far from quietly riding out the COVID-19 tsunami, the pair have leashed an anchor of sorts and are using their platform for a much-needed mission to feed frontline healthcare workers in the UK.

McCrory said she spent one-day doing hair and makeup and tests for Peaky Blinders, during which it dawned on much of the production team that “something very big is coming.” She explains: “The next morning I woke and told my producer I’m not comfortable doing this anymore… Cillian Murphy did the same. Together with the producers, we approached the BBC and said we’re going to pull this now before we have to do this down the line.” Production was halted on March 16, a mere three weeks ago. “That all seems like a very different world at the moment. Terribly unimportant,” McCrory reflects.

The couple turned to their friends in the National Health Service and asked where they could help. Their initial idea was to cover parking fines for the nurses and doctors who were getting caught out on long shifts, but the government soon moved to waive parking fees for health care workers. The next idea came from Bob Klaber, who works at the Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London. “He said the real problem is food,” recalls McCrory. With staff canteens in hospitals either not existing or shutting down, and nearby eateries closing amid the country-wide lockdown, some NHS employees were running on empty. Lewis and McCrory seized on Klaber’s idea and started getting pizzas delivered to intensive care units. The efforts were greeted by “lovely photos of smiling faces,” but it quickly became apparent that they needed something more sustainable — and nourishing — for those fighting coronavirus.

Continue reading Coping With CoVid-19 Crisis: Damian and Helen on Feeding Health Workers After Filming Halted – April 6, 2020

Categories Charity Helen Personal and Family Life Philanthropy

Damian and Helen on BBC Breakfast – March 30, 2020

FeedNHS Campaign Continues

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | March 30, 2020

Damian and Helen appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning, Monday, March 30, 2020 to continue to share their FeedNHS effort. They, along with Matt Lucas, have partnered with LEON Restaurants, plus many other restaurant chains, to help support the NHS by ensuring all critical care hospital staff get one hot meal a day. Right now FeedNHS plans to serve 6,000 hot meals a day and they are hoping to go Nationwide! Help get healthy hot food directly to the front line heroes by making your donation to LEON here or the crowdfunding Just Giving page here.The campaign has already earned 55% in donations of the £1,000,000 target. Watch them on BBC Breakfast below:

Categories Charity Helen Personal and Family Life Philanthropy Video

Damian and Helen Launch FeedNHS on Good Morning Britain – Mar 27, 2020

Live From Suffolk In Their Jammies

Damian and Helen are doing everything they can to help while in quarantine like the rest of us. Damian, Helen, and Matt Lucas have partnered with LEON Restaurants, plus many other restaurant chains, to help support the NHS by ensuring all critical care hospital staff get one hot meal a day. Right now FeedNHS is serving 5,600 hot meals a day and they are hoping to go Nationwide! Help get healthy hot food directly to the front line heroes by making your donation to LEON here or the crowdfunding Just Giving page here, and watch their launch on Good Morning Britain below:

Here is the complete FeedNHS background story:

Continue reading Damian and Helen Launch FeedNHS on Good Morning Britain – Mar 27, 2020