L-R: Matt Asbrey, the hospital’s head of culture, Margaret Bingham-Crisp, people experience lead, and Liz Porter, Hackney Foodbank warehouse supervisor. Photograph: courtesy Homerton Hospital

Homerton Hospital staff last week delivered 55kg of food and essentials to Hackney Foodbank as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the local community for the support they have received during the Covid pandemic.

The workforce was given hundreds of meals by local restaurants at the height of the outbreak, along with numerous boxes of chocolates, cans of drinks and various other gifts from members of the public.

Local businesses and schools provided additional surgical scrubs and masks for hard-pressed intensive care workers.

As part of the recovery and rehabilitation of staff, the hospital trust has been running a ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ campaign to help them take small, positive steps.

In one initiative, staff were invited to donate items to Hackney Foodbank, dropping off donations at a number of collection points across the hospital and at community sites.

Last week, hospital representatives delivered the haul to Hackney Foodbank at its Florence Bennett Centre warehouse on Cherbury Street.

Matt Asbrey, head of culture at the Homerton, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on everyone in Hackney and staff across the hospital and community sites have been working incredibly hard to continue delivering outstanding care to patients. They have been supported by the local community, from local business to members of the public throughout.

“The staff were keen to give back something to the community that rallied around them during these difficult times. Offering food, drinks and other essentials to those most needing them was one way to say thank you.

“The initiative has proved so successful that staff have asked that foodbank collection points within the trust remain on a permanent basis to allow them to continue giving back to Hackney.”

Shell Tran from Hackney Foodbank said: “We are delighted to have support from the amazing staff at Homerton who have been so kind as to take the time to collect essential food donations for us, in addition to helping our community with their crucial work.

“Over the past 18 months, we have provided over 14,500 emergency food parcels to local people in crisis, supporting approximately 10,400 people experiencing hunger in Hackney.

“Lower Universal Credit payments, the end of furlough, and rising energy prices means that more people in Hackney are finding themselves in crises.

“With the generous help of the staff at the Homerton, we can continue to support our community through these challenges and together we can aim to achieve our vision of a hunger-free Hackney, where everybody can afford to eat.

“We are so thankful to the staff at Homerton for everything they do and for their support at such a difficult time, which will help many local people in Hackney.”

Support us

The coronavirus outbreak meant that the Hackney Citizen was unable to print a monthly newspaper for three months.

We're grateful that we have since been able to resume printing. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our readers, whose donations kept the paper from disappearing completely at a distressing time for residents.

A huge thank you to everyone who gave their time and money to support us through the lockdown, and to those who continue to do so as we slowly recover from the dramatic fall in advertising revenues, on top of the existing challenges threatening the future of local journalism.

A one-off donation or a regular contribution from anyone who can afford it will help our small team keep the newspaper in print and the website running in the coming months and years.

Find out how you can donate.

Thank you for your support, and stay safe.

The Hackney Citizen team