Home Patchwork Story We Won’t Forget You – NHS Frontline Festive Thank You

We Won’t Forget You – NHS Frontline Festive Thank You

by Ismay Ozga
NHS Xmas Card

As we turn our thoughts to thinking of others and sending gifts at Christmas time, there is a group of people who we all want to thank and show our appreciation of once again. Our NHS staff, our frontline workers who have put themselves in harms way to protect and serve us over the last 9 months. Together with our local businesses, friends and neighbours, Patchwork is supporting the Frontline Festive Thank You with the aim of delivering 100 festive gift bags to Lewisham hospital staff – can you chip in?

Lewisham hospital staff receiving their food packages during pandemic
Itohan, Ward Manager, receiving her food package back in the Spring

At the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic and during the first national lockdown, Patchwork were approached by local businesses who wanted to do something practical and positive to look after those who were looking after us. So a Patchwork page was set up and within a week, local residents had generously donated over £5,000 to deliver food parcels to staff at Lewisham hospital. All items were sourced at cost by local businesses and packaged with love, then sent with messages of thanks to staff for all they have done to look after us all.

No words or thanks or front door step clapping will ever be enough to show our collective appreciation – but sometimes in small gestures that are local and direct, we can have a meaningful impact on the lives of those who might sometimes feel unnoticed, or unappreciated.

Frontline food packages being delivered to Lewisham hospital NHS staff
Gamal – the first recipient of a food parcel during the first lockdown in the Spring

Giving together means giving more

As we approach Christmas, the second appeal is underway, this time delivering gift bags to staff, with a few treats to say thank you – including a hand cream, panettone, Christmas decorations and chocolate.

The appeal has been hosted by Patchwork and we have happily donated our fee back to Frontline so that the gifts received go even further. All donations made via the Patchwork fundraising page go directly to Frontline Festive Thank You so that they can make sure they get as many gifts as possible to such deserving staff as those working at Lewisham hospital.

No-one is overlooked, everyone’s role is important

What’s special about this initiative is that each recipient is nominated by their managers and colleagues and even those whose jobs might usually be unnoticed and whose work often goes “unsung” get the appreciation they deserve. It’s really heartwarming to see the reactions of members of staff who are nominated to receive a gift bag. It means so much to them to know they are thought of by the people in their community who they serve daily.

The first recipient of a food package back in the Spring was Gamal who works to keep the hospital clean (now more important than ever!) and the second to Geraldine, a single mum who had just come off a 12 shift stint in ITU. You can hear from Rita, one of the Matrons what these gifts meant:

How you can help support our frontline workers this Christmas

Every small action, every person, and every group of committed volunteers will help. Over and over again at Patchwork, we see amazing people coming together to show that our community is our strength. The Frontline Festive Thank You page is now open for contributions. Whether it’s £3 for some chocolate, £15 for a whole box, or even just a note of support – everyone can chip in and together we will make a real difference to the nurses, doctors and all the other NHS support staff keeping us all safe over the Christmas period and always.

NHS staff outside Lewisham hospital receiving Festive Thank you gift bags for Christmas
Festive thank you gift bags - panettone, Christmas cracker, coffee and chocolate

If you have any other questions about the project you can contact us at hello@patchworkit.com. If you’d like to set up a Patchwork page to support a community project in your local area browse our easy to customise templates.

Finally, special thanks goes to all who have kindly donated and to the local businesses and volunteers who have worked so hard to bring the Frontline Festive Thank You project to life. You have brought much needed smiles, joy and some little luxuries to our wonderful NHS staff. Thanks especially to:

Tony at Provender Delicatessen

Shai at Mont58Coffee

Nilou at Jumping Bean London

Nena at Nena Foster Foods

Vicky at Fitness for Mummies

Heather at Heather Victoria Design

Thanks as well to Robert and Daniel at Sebastian Roche, the guys at Babur Restaurant, all at Two Spoons restaurant, and the lovely Dr Mayoni for their very generous donations to this project.

And of course to local resident extraordinaire (who is not on social media!) – Julia.

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