Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Frontline NHS staff enjoying donated takeaway pizzas

Frontline NHS staff enjoying donated takeaway pizzas

A WOMAN from Kingwood has helped raise more than £7,000 for takeaway pizzas for staff working in the intensive care unit at Royal Berkshire Hospital, writes Gee Harland.

Francesca Stanton launched her ‘Take-Away’ A Little Stress appeal at the beginning of this month with a JustGiving page.

As donations started to mount up, she began ordering food from Domino’s Pizza for delivery to the hospital in London Road, Reading.

Mrs Stanton said she wanted to show NHS staff how much people appreciated them. She said: “Initially I just wanted to do something that would be immediate and practical — it’s a simple campaign and people want to contribute.

“The JustGiving page lit up within 24 hours, which showed exactly how much people wanted to do something to help our wonderful critical care staff. The constant stress these guys are under is just inconceivable.”

Mrs Stanton chose pizza deliveries as the campaign’s focus because Ian Rechner, head of the intensive care unit, told her that pizzas “went down well” during the first coronavirus lockdown last year. He said: “In the first wave of the pandemic, we were dealing with incredibly stressful situations on a daily basis, dressed in full PPE.

“Those brief moments when we could come together quickly to grab a slice of pizza became a real morale booster.”

Mrs Stanton said: “It is an opportunity for them to get together, have a slice of pizza and a breather and then get on with it.”

Pizza orders are delivered to the hospital three times a week.

Mrs Stanton said: “The local Domino’s has helped ensure contactless lunchtime deliveries with a dedicated driver arriving at specific times to suit the staff.

“We hope we can add more range to the takeaways over the coming weeks.

“We are now working directly with ICU staff to identify and support other ways that will directly benefit staff morale and wellbeing over these coming weeks.

“We want to keep it going for as long as possible as it’s the public’s way of thanking the NHS staff.”

To donate, visit www.JustGiving.

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