WCoBM supports NHS Livery Kitchen initiative during pandemic

WCoBM supports NHS Livery Kitchen initiative during pandemic

The Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants (WCoBM) is among the 25 Livery Companies to support the NHS Livery Kitchen initiative, donating £1,000.

The City of London has been at the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic, so this project was initially launched on the 20 April to provide meals for NHS staff at the Royal London Hospital. With the growing generosity of Livery Companies, the project had raised a staggering £194,500 by mid-May and was rolled out across two other hospitals in the Barts Health NHS Trust: St Bartholomew’s and Newham University. The Livery Kitchen is now operating at its maximum, delivering 600 meals a day across the three hospitals.

Four kitchens are involved in producing the meals, and these include the Worshipful Company of Grocers, Drapers and Merchant Taylors, and volunteers from Party Ingredients. As well as the support in making the meals, The Hackney Carriage Drivers have been transporting NHS staff to their places of work, so they avoid public transport and The Fruiterers have been providing enough fruit to support the initiative on a weekly basis. The money raised has also gone towards sourcing fridges and freezers so meals can be stored safely and at the right temperatures. These arrived at the Royal London and Barts hospitals during May.

The Livery Kitchen meals have enabled staff to no longer worry about how they will feed themselves during exhausting 12-hour shifts when they have so many other demands on their time. The meals are distributed to staff directly to their places of work so they can avoid long queues at hospital canteens and being pulled away from their professional roles. Different service managers deliver the meals within A&E, medicine, surgery, orthopaedics, theatres and intensive care.

Dr Rej Bhumbra, RLH Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, sums up the positive impact of this initiative on the wellbeing of hospital staff: “It has made huge and real material differences to staff in the A&E, Surgical, Intensive care, as well as the Trauma and Orthopaedic departments. A significant proportion of Nurses, Doctors, support and management staff now need not queue, for up to 45 minutes, in the staff canteen to receive food that is nowhere near the quality of what has been sent to the hospital.”

WCoBM Master Dame Fiona Woolf DBE, DL adds: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting this effort and even prouder of the hospital workers who are benefitting. The results demonstrate that they are a really class act!”

The NHS Livery Kitchen initiative is expected to run until the end of July.

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