The Evening Express today proudly backs a new campaign to say thank you to all the north-east’s dedicated frontline healthcare workers.
Alongside Original 106, we are supporting NHS Grampian Endowment Fund’s scheme to deliver comfort boxes to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals across the region.
These packages contain items like Pot Noodles, tea, coffee and toiletries, as well as drawings from children to offer them some cheer.
It is hoped businesses from across the north-east will join in the initiative and donate items.
Sheddocksley Baptist Church’s recently revamped Fine Peace Cafe is acting as the distribution centre for the boxes, with John Clark Motor Group’s vans and drivers providing the delivery service.
Friends of Anchor are joining in the effort and providing a range of treats for staff, while the Grampian Hospitals Arts Trust is co-ordinating drawings from children as well as messages of support to go inside the boxes and decals to decorate the outside.
The first comfort boxes were delivered to workers at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary yesterday, with more than 100 being handed out.
Operational manager of NHS Grampian charities Sheena Lonchay said they are for any health service staff.
She said: “This is for all the NHS Grampian workers who are working flat out and we want to do our bit to help them.
“It is an assorted box for all the teams working for the health service and includes doctors, nurses, porters and drivers.
“This might just let the staff know we are all right behind them. We want them all to feel a part of this.”
Comfort boxes will also go out to staff working at Aberdeen’s and Aberdeenshire’s respective health and social care partnerships.
The comfort box scheme has already received funding from the Lockdown Live Aberdeenshire online festival and the Yarson Tattoo Studio while Jamieson and Carry’s Inspire Challenge has also raised funds for the project.
Sheena said they are hoping more businesses from around the north-east will donate items to ensure they can continue to supply goods to health service staff.
She said: “We are asking companies to donate to this.
“We are not looking for people to donate because we don’t want to take anything away from foodbanks.”
Kirsten Will, development manager with Friends of Anchor, said they had been involved by donating tissues to go inside the boxes.
She said: “We’re pleased to be playing a part in the creation of these packs and we’re supplying 200 pocket-sized packs of tissues – a small gesture which we hope will convey our huge appreciation for the teams working so hard within the hospital to deliver the best care day in, day out.”
Evening Express editor Craig Walker said: “Even before Covid-19 the NHS had a special place in all our hearts, but their dedication and bravery during these last few weeks has been nothing short of breathtaking.
“This appeal is a way of thanking them all – and not just the doctors and nurses. Many other NHS Grampian staff are just as important in this fight, like the army of porters, cleaners, drivers and carers.”
Martin Ingram, Original 106’s programme controller, said: “NHS staff and volunteers during this time are proving to be heroic and selfless, even more so than normal.
“The Thursday night applause is a fantastic expression of appreciation but Original 106 listeners have told us they want to do something more tangible.
“I am delighted that Original 106 is part of this drive to give something back to our NHS heroes.”
How to donate
Any companies looking to donate items for the comfort boxes can visit the Fine Peace Cafe on Eday Walk between 9am and noon or contact email@example.com
The kind of items the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund wants include juice, cereal bars, face wipes, hand cream and any foods that can be prepared with a kettle.
How to donate cash
Cash donations to support the delivery of comfort boxes can be made to the Coronavirus Support Fund at www.nhsgcharities.com/donate