Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust and council launch project hope.

Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust and council launch project hope.

A project has been launched to support local NHS staff and patients in south east London with extra staff, refreshments and accommodation.

The leaders of both Greenwich Council and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust have penned a joint letter to residents and local businesses explaining the launch of Project Hope.

With the coronavirus pandemic in London “the most serious it has ever been,” the bodies want local communities to come together to support local NHS services and staff, which currently are at risk of being overwhelmed.

The Covid-19 infection rate is currently above 1,000 for all three boroughs served by the NHS trust, and Covid-19 patient numbers are at record highs, meaning beds and oxygen as well as healthy staff are all suffering shortages.

The letter states: “We want to do our best to support our incredible colleagues at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, and are working together to provide extra staff and services to our local hospitals, to relieve pressure on their overstretched staff.

“As well as assisting with some practical tasks, we are looking at other ways to relieve stress and make sure tired staff know they are appreciated,” wrote Ben Travis and Danny Thorpe.

The leaders said they are now asking local businesses and individuals to donate a number of items to staff “who are working long hours, under intense physical and emotionally demanding circumstances, with many unable to go home because they need to protect their own family and friends from catching the virus.”

1. Food and Refreshments – any donations of individual food items and snacks are appreciated. They cannot accept sharable items due to infection control restrictions, but teas, coffees, and biscuits, etc. are all welcome.

2. Toiletries – when staff are taking a break, the council say they’d like to be able to offer them some comfort items to make them feel valued and allow them to carry out some much-needed self care. Hand creams and bathing items would be most welcome. Also, if there are any therapists within our community who would be interested in supporting our heroes and heroines on the front line, please get in touch.

3. Accommodation – staff who are unable to go home would really benefit from a safe, clean room in which to recuperate between shifts. If you have any available rooms in your establishment, please get in touch.

If you would like to do your bit for Project Hope, you can get in touch to discuss details and arrange drop off of items using the options below.

Greenwich Council commented: “The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is in the heart of our community.

“Many of our residents work there, many of us have been treated there and now, more than ever before, we need to come together as a community and support the whole hospital team.”

The council also added that whilst they know many people have already donated to local hospitals, “we need to ensure this is coordinated and are now asking everyone, please do not drop items at hospitals directly.”

“Over the past few months, we have been absolutely bowled over by the generosity and positive energy from our residents and local businesses.

“Once again, we know we will see each other through this dark time and with your support the NHS will triumph over this awful situation.”

Telephone: 0800 470 4831 Email: projecthope@livewell.org.uk

Article and photos from Newsshopper.