At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it quickly became apparent that the NHS was facing an increasingly difficult task, a lack of PPE and infection rates increasing exponentially. The future looked daunting.   

Dr David Wrigley, a member of the British Medical Association’s council, said ‘more than 50 per cent of doctors responding to a survey said they did not have the supplies they need.’ (Source – The Independent, Saturday 11th April 2020) And according to ITV, ‘NHS staff are being asked to ‘sacrifice’ themselves over a lack of PPE.’ The NHS was in desperate need of support.

Concerned by the struggles the NHS workers were facing, in March 2020, a family from Weybridge, started an initiative called ‘Help Your NHS’ to support their local NHS hospital. The Not For Profit organisation provides desperately needed goods to the St. Peter’s and Ashford hospitals through local community fundraising. They ‘aim to turn the kindness of local people into tangible, urgently needed goods.’  I spoke to Anita, one of the founders of Help Your NHS and she explained their reasons for starting the initiative. ‘We realised in the first days of the pandemic that the NHS had a big quest to try and battle against COVID-19. We also knew that our local community only had one hospital to help them fight against the virus’. 

It has been nearly a year since their initiative was started and the response from the local community has been excellent. ‘At first we were unknown, so we worked hard to show the local community that we were working closely with the hospital and delivering every week and being proactive rather than reactive.’ This gained support from the local residents and as of the 19th February they have delivered 2543 food and drink items, 3240 items of protective equipment and 1200 self care packages for NHS staff. They have also worked with Kellogg’s, GlaxoSmithKline and other local companies to help provide these packages.

The biggest challenge of running an initiative relying on donations is keeping the momentum and fundraising going over a long period of time. ‘The NHS have been working extremely hard for 1 year and would need a boost even more now than they did in the beginning’ she commented.

At the beginning, the initiative provided vital PPE but Anita explained that now ‘we are working on continuing to supply pulse oximeters and digital thermometers as well as non-perishable goods to help lift staff morale and wellbeing.’ To lift the spirits of the staff on the wards, the Hospital Chaplain has not only been offering spiritual support to the workers but he also wheels a trolley around the hospital on a weekly basis with Help Your NHS donations.  The hard working staff have been overwhelmed by the support of the local community as a result and each little gift is a reminder of how much their hard work is valued.

If you or your business would like to support Help Your NHS then please visit or donate to