NHSOS - The GIFT of Gratitude for our NHS

12/05/20NHSOS - The GIFT of Gratitude for our NHS

NHSOS is an initiative instigated by St John’s Wood entrepreneurs Howard and Beverly Calvert who spearheaded the idea to give out gratitude packages to NHS workers after consulting with the Royal Free and Barnet Hospital Trusts.

The Calverts approached GIFT to help, as they had been impressed by the plethora of  Covid-19 initiatives that the charity had already launched.  They explain “Motivated as a result of our daughter and son-in-law being NHS Doctors, we wanted to create a ‘care pack', NHS-OS - filled with  lovely treats like lip balm, moisturiser, drinks and pretzels to help those on the front line who are caring for the sick, feel appreciated. 

GIFT and Shira Joseph especially, have been amazing in helping this to happen by organising the assembly by volunteer families, - 3,500 packs containing 7 items is no mean feat - it just shows the scale of the NHS.”

Volunteers Tamara Fisch, Rebecca Freedman and Sophie Saunders helped coordinate efforts, approaching various beauty and snack companies and within a few days, thanks to the persistence of the team and the generosity of the companies, the NHSOS project was ready to go.  With donations from brands including; Can o water, Indie Bay Pretzels, Livias kitchen, Brand Avenue, Meller Beauty and Cowshed; donations exceeded 31,000 products from 14 different companies.  

GIFT then reached out to its enormous volunteer base for help transporting, packaging and delivering the items.  Volunteers maintained social distancing by volunteering together with members of their household only and within a week the NHSOS packages had been delivered; 1,500 packages to Barnet Hospital and a further 2,000 products to different care homes across London.  One recipient of the care packages said 

“The staff here at the hospital have been overwhelmed by the love and appreciation. A massive thank you to all those who have donated and packed the bags. The contents have been really useful. All the staff love them from the doctors, nurses, managers, cleaners and porters. They really come in handy - especially after a long shift! Thank you!”

GIFT’s Shira Joseph who project managed NHSOS said “It has been a real pleasure and an amazing experience working on this project with the incredible committee, brands and the dedicated volunteers. This initiative is such a poignant example of how one idea can make such a huge difference; and it has been a real honour joining together with so many companies and volunteers to show our appreciation and gratitude to the NHS workers and carers who are working tirelessly and selflessly to help those around them.”

The NHSOS team are now working on a big fundraising initiative for the NHS together charities involving a high profile artist. Watch this space for details...

To get involved in GIFT’s volunteering initiatives or to donate, visit http://www.jgift.org/covid19

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