How it all began…
Our community initiative began by sending love and gratitude to health care professionals in various settings. We aim to reach unsung heroes at all levels and as many key workers as we can.
Ignited by Covid-19, Hampers for Heroes was founded in the midst of ‘lockdown’ in March 2020. It all started with a post on social media from the partner of Solihull nurse Rebecca Marie, highlighting her hard work as she was late home from a shift. There were many comments from community members expressing their gratitude to Rebecca. Rebecca said that she and her colleagues were suffering with sore hands and arms due to constant scrubbing and could not find hand cream on supermarket shelves. Victoria Hanson was inspired by the post and began gathering hand cream donations from the local community, along with help from Body Shop At Home Consultants and Avon Representatives. The wonderful display of community spirit prompted Victoria to found Hampers for Heroes alongside friend Yasmin Paulson, who works all year round to support Birmingham food banks.
Since then, 40 more volunteers have joined the Hampers for Heroes effort. We are currently supported by donations from our website, as well as physical donations from the community and are widening our reach daily. We have reached so many unsung heroes, such as porters, security, cleaning, administrative staff, mortuary staff bereavement teams, care homes, remote nurses and carers, teachers, teaching assistants, to name but a few.
Our community of volunteers are determined to deliver the hampers and because the donations are coming in, we can keep going and put smiles on the faces of our hardworking key workers. This community initiative represents the light amongst the darkness of Covid-19. Every day, frontline workers put their own health and safety at risk to help those who are sick or need help or care. We had no idea that the demand would be so great and that we would grow so fast in such a small amount of time.
Together, Hampers for Heroes has reached over 40,000 health and social care, NHS and Teaching staff in the West Midlands. Beginning with food and care packages, Hampers for Heroes now has an array of wonderful partnerships with supporters, companies and businesses. This support means that going forward, Hampers for Heroes can reach out to key workers in even more ways; such as offering free counselling, therapy and mental health support. Our ambition is to roll out nationally. This is a long-term initiative that we feel has sufficient community support to see it continue beyond the current pandemic.