A lot of people are wondering about how they can help right now. Whether you can contribute with time, skills or money, here are some ideas for how you can get involved and lend a much-needed hand.
A new drive-through coronavirus swabbing facility for keyworkers and NHS staff has opened at the British Library. The service is a collaboration between University College London Hospitals, The Francis Crick Institute and Health Services Laboratories. Positioning the drop-in service next door to the Crick means the swabbing and testing process can be as streamlined as possible, with testing taking place in the Crick’s newly repurposed laboratories so that NHS staff get the results quickly and know whether it’s safe for them to return to work. The facility is located at the rear of the Library’s building at St Pancras and service is for NHS staff by appointment only. More info here.
King’s Cross Church Foodbank
King’s Cross Church has partnered with Bankuet and Love Your Neighbour to start a temporary foodbank here in Kings Cross. The foodbank is helping people who are suffering from financial hardship and struggling to put food on the table. If you would like to give your time, there are a range of volunteer positions available, from delivering parcels to putting together the packages to contacting those who are referred to the foodbank. You can also help out by donating. For more information on how you can get involved, or if you know someone in need, please click here.
Help the NHS
Working up to 12-hour shifts in layers of protective gear is hot, exhausting work. #NHSMyRound is a group of King’s Cross locals who are providing thousands of refreshing soft drinks to the frontline NHS staff combating Covid-19 every week. The drinks are healthy and are from local businesses. The group is focusing on helping those hospitals that have received little assistance plus the drinks are from local businesses. Please support if you can via their gofundme page.
The Lighterman is working to make 2,700 meals a week for NHS workers at four London hospitals – Chelsea & Westminster, St Mary’s, St Barts and Royal Free. The meals are made possible by volunteers from The Lighterman and with support from Hospitality for Heroes and FareShare. Hospitality for Heroes is a not-for-profit campaign which aims to #FeedTheNHS and every penny donated to the campaign goes towards purchasing food. You can support this initiative here.
The team at Arabica are on a mission to feed the NHS and Londoners in need. With their doors closed, the kitchen staff are rustling up nutritious plant-based meals to be delivered to the frontline workers at Guys & St Thomas’s and Kings College hospitals. And working with Plan Zheroes, they’ll be getting meals to some of the city’s most vulnerable, too. Help them reach their targeted 20,000 meals by donating via their gofundme page. And see the team in action here.
Notes Coffee is matching donations to supply free coffee to NHS workers. Donate here.
For every bag of coffee purchased by you online, Redemption Roasters will send a bag to the new NHS Nightingale hospital.. Buy your coffee here.
Donate to #FeedNHS
King’s Cross restaurant Dishoom has partnered with Leon and many more to show “our (massive, heartfelt!) appreciation and love for the heroic NHS workers who are literally saving lives every day.” The endeavour is called #FeedNHS, with the restaurants aiming to provide 6,000 daily hot meals to hospitals in London to feed our NHS heroes. There is also a plan to extend this across the nation.
All support is very welcome! You can donate to the campaign here, just give what you can afford. Every penny will go towards feeding the NHS. Or if you belong to an NHS trust or food operator that either needs help or can offer services, please sign up here.
Ways to help – local initiatives…
Donate to the King’s Cross Academy Foodbank. This foodbank is helping families of children at the school who are struggling right now. If you are in a position to make a food donation, you will find instructions here. If you are in a position to make a financial donation, please visit their Just Giving page. And if you can help out with transporting food parcels, please contact the school here.
Camden Giving has released its first round of funding from the COVID-19 Charity Fund. They have awarded £150,000 to 29 charities, social enterprises and community groups. Details of all those supported can be found here. Camden Giving has now opened its second round of funding and welcomes any support businesses can give to help local charities continue their work in the local community. You can find out more and make a donation here.
Lina Stores is helping hard-hit hospitality staff, providing emergency food kits to those in the industry that have been made redundant as a result of the public health crisis. Each kit contains enough to make 10 meals, with fresh handmade pasta, sauces and cheese. They have already raised over £25k and made over 8,000 meals. You can donate to this initiative via their gofundme page to keep the good work going. Anyone who donates more than £20 will receive 20% off from Lina when it reopens.
Get Soap Moving with Miller Harris. The perfumier has donated its entire stock of hand wash, hand lotion and soaps to Age UK and to foodbanks where these kinds of supplies are desperately needed. If you are a small business or individual and think you can help, please get in touch with Emma, Laurel and SJ here who will share logistical information and link you with Age UK.
Many charities are in desperate need of help at the moment. The Trussell Trust foodbank network will match you with food banks in your area. Local volunteer centres and organisations such as Volunteering Matters and Do-it can link you up with charities close to where you live. Reach Volunteering matches people with specialist professional skills, such as IT expertise, to charities who need their help.
Or why not join the neighbourhood hub Nextdoor where you can offer help to people local to you with tasks such as running errands, shopping or dog walking for older people who are self-isolating.
Here’s how other local organisations and businesses are helping…
Coal Office restaurant and Tom Dixon have set up the Fresh Food Hub. You can buy veg, fruit and eggs from their farm suppliers (This is wonderful spring produce that has no outlet right now and would otherwise go to waste), fresh bread, stews, wine plus there’s a special daily recipe which can be pre-ordered. NHS staff get 50% off everything, and all unsold boxes will be sent to local food banks and Islington-based homeless shelter, Shelter in the Storm.
Cut + Grind the artisan burger joint is saying thank you to our tireless healthcare workers with 50% off food and drinks for NHS staff.
Vermuteria has donated all its fresh produce to the local food bank in Kings Cross, providing much-needed healthy meals for struggling families.
ba&sh is designing a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, from which all profits will go to support healthcare workers.
The staff at Central Saint Martins are making scrubs, face shields and masks for NHS workers.
Wasabi is providing 500 free bentos a day to NHS workers.
Fitness studio The Fore has rounded up their cold drink stock and donated to A&E workers.
FRAME The fitness studio is known for its feel-good, fun-filled classes, and now it is bringing those sweet endorphins straight to your living room. FRAME ONLINE will be available for all current Framers and frontline workers to enjoy for free. If you are a frontline worker, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. New members can join for £10.99 per month. 20% of profits will go to low-income families.
Cubitts is redirecting its weekly fruit deliveries to local food banks.
Images courtesy of Trussell Trust and The Felix Project.