Britain says thanks with outpouring of gifts for NHS workers and police
30 March 2020, 14:45 | Updated: 30 March 2020, 14:54
The people of Britain have been saying thanks to frontline workers who are battling the coronavirus crisis with an outpouring of gifts, food and extra help designed to make their lives easier.
Care packages have come in many forms from neighbours, small businesses and bigger firms - including hot meals cooked by members of local communities, sweet treats for night shifts, and toiletries for those working long hours.
Ben Hudson, a consultant radiologist in Bath, said he was "close to tears" after opening his front door to find a collection of meals cooked by his neighbour Emma.
He said he and his wife, also a consultant radiologist, had been "preparing for a surge" in cases of coronavirus at their local hospital, and that the gift of home cooked shepherd's pie, a curry and banana bread had left them feeling "very grateful".
"The banana bread looks like it's not going to make it through dawn," he later said of the treat.
My wife and I are #NHS consultant radiologists preparing for surge in #COVID19, with 3 small children. Close to tears from this unsolicited act of kindness from our wonderful neighbour Emma, who left this on our doorstep. Thank you! #ProtectOurNHS #StayHomeSaveLives #clapforNHS pic.twitter.com/tdqoKYU4xO— Ben Hudson (@hudson_benjamin) March 28, 2020
A lovely lady Heather Peacock left this box of goodies on my doorstep today for colleagues at South Tees who might want a refreshing shower etc during these long days 🥰 pic.twitter.com/lP192bdRZj— Amy Oxley (@AmyOxley5) March 28, 2020
Meanwhile, Amir Khan, an NHS doctor from Leeds, said his mother was currently in self-isolation, but it hadn't stopped her making a feast for him and colleagues at his surgery.
He said: "She is in isolation but has made LOTS of pakoras, samosas, curry and rice as well as an assortment of dips and salads.
"She's left them on her doorstep for me to collect and give to all the hardworking staff at our surgery."
#MamaKhan doing her bit for the NHS— Dr Amir Khan GP (@DrAmirKhanGP) March 27, 2020
She is in isolation but has made LOTS of pakoras, samosas, curry and rice as well as an assortment of dips and salads
She’s left them on her doorstep for me to collect and give to all the hardworking staff at our surgery
My neighbour just left this on my doorstep and said it’s because she knows I’m away from home and working in the hospital so wanted to make sure I had a few things 😭💗 pic.twitter.com/kc0Dt4nIRf— stephanie (@sclellandx) March 28, 2020
One woman living in east London said her mother had initially showed her appreciation for frontline workers by leaving a chocolate bar on the doorstep for her postman.
She later baked an entire Victoria sponge and left it on her doorstep for the bin men collecting her rubbish.
"She deserves the world," her daughter wrote on Twitter alongside pictures of the sponge.
my mum told me she left a bar of chocolate on the doorstep for the postman to say thank you for still working during the pandemic & now she sends me this 😭🤣 she deserves the world pic.twitter.com/mMVDXvAe8S— 🧚🏽♂️ (@juustmolls) March 29, 2020
Liz O'Riordan, a breast cancer surgeon and survivor of breast cancer herself, said she was brought to tears after a local nursery in Bury St Edmunds sent a bouquet of flowers.
With the gift was a poem that read: "Here's a little flower with love from us to you.
"We hope it will keep you smiling all spring and summer through.
"It will need a little water and likes a bit of sun.
"We hope you will accept it and see a good turn done."
This made me cry. A local nursery left this on my doorstep “Here’s a little flower with love from us to you. We hope it will keep you smiling all spring and summer through. It will need a little water and likes a bit of sun. We hope you will accept it and see a good turn done” 😍 pic.twitter.com/FIi6QHKk8K— Liz O'Riordan 💋🦔🇪🇺 (@Liz_ORiordan) March 26, 2020
A police department in northeast London tweeted its thanks to Costco on Monday for sending hundreds of cans of Coca Cola and two sheet cakes to its officers.
The cakes - one chocolate and one vanilla - had a messaged piped on top that said: "Thanks for your hard work. Remember to wash your hands."
We have arranged for deliveries of care packages of food and other essentials- including donations from the community- for our staff who are isolating due to #coronavirus.— London Ambulance Service #StayHomeSaveLives (@Ldn_Ambulance) March 30, 2020
Our staff and volunteers are doing incredible work in challenging circumstances. #TeamLAS @allourwellbeing pic.twitter.com/y5ZKxFvcjz
Another former NHS worker - now returning as a volunteer - said a neighbour's gift with a bottle of wine and a note to apologise for not joining in a recent nationwide round of applause for healthcare workers had "brought tears to my eyes".
She said: "Well this brought tears to my eyes. A bottle of wine left on my step by a neighbour and an apology that they haven't joined in the applause, but wanted to thank me for my work.
"Although I worked in the NHS for 37 years, I am now there in a volunteer capacity - humbled."
The note tied to neck of the bottle read: "Dear Alison, we missed the 8pm applause so here's our equivalent.
"Hope you enjoy and when you drink it you can 'hear' how much we appreciate what you and your colleagues are doing!"
Well this brought tears to my eyes 🥰 abottle of wine left on my step by a neighbour & an apology that they hadn’t joined in the applause👏 but wanted to thank me for my work 🙏 although I worked in the NHS for 37yrs I am now there in a Volunteer capacity- humbled 😊 #clapforNHS pic.twitter.com/nwf9o7vsaH— Alison Langley (@AlisonL43733634) March 27, 2020
Thank you to all our amazing emergency services, we’re so proud of you all💙We’re showing our support with care packages being sent out to our local stations 🍫 a very tough situation and we can’t thank you enough for all your doing please enjoy and stay safe 🙏🏻#ThankYou pic.twitter.com/6Q1cW3y4J2— HBIngredients (@HBIngredients) March 27, 2020
The care packages and gifts being sent across the country have become just one part of a collective show of appreciation toward frontline workers amid the pandemic.
It comes after the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) recently confirmed that around a quarter of NHS doctors were now off work sick or in isolation.
Over the weekend, the first UK doctor to die after contracting the virus was also named.
Amged El-Hawrani, 55, was an associate clinical director and ear, nose and throat consultant at Queen's Hospital in Burton upon Trent.
He died on Saturday at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.