NHS trust workers fill hampers to bring Christmas cheer to local food banks

Lincolnshire staff donated an item a day for a whole month
Christmas hampers

Nurses and other healthcare staff in Lincolnshire have donated dozens of Christmas hampers to food banks across the county.

Lincolnshire NHS staff with a vanload of festive food hampers

Staff at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s (ULHT) four hospital sites – in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln and Louth – have been collecting  Christmas goodies to put into the festive hampers.

The idea was the brainchild of ULHT clinical education nurse Sam McCarthy-Phull, who wanted to do something to help those in need.

More than 100 different wards and departments took up the call to action, and the hampers were delivered to food banks across the county last week.

Another example of the caring profession

Ms McCarthy-Phull said she had been completely overwhelmed by her colleagues’ support for the scheme.

'We all work for the NHS because it’s a caring profession. We work tirelessly in Lincolnshire, often in challenging circumstances, to ensure we provide the highest standard of care possible,' she said.

'I thought that making Christmas hampers would be another example of how we can all help people in the local community at this time of year.'

She said staff were asked to donate an item a day to the hampers from 14 November to 14 December.

'The hampers include essentials such as tinned goods and dry pasta, but also a few luxuries for Christmas such as mince pies, puddings and some chocolates too of course,' she said.

'The response has been incredible and we’ve managed to get some lovely hampers together – it’s been very emotional to see them being delivered.'

A special festive delivery 

The trust arranged for lorries to take the hampers to food banks in Boston, Lincoln and Grantham in time for the festive period, with help from Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

At Lincoln, the food bank was pleased to accept a donation of 2.6 tonnes of food from ULHT staff – the biggest-ever single donation it has received.

Lincoln food bank coordinator Amy Colley said:  'We are so grateful. The food will help local people in crisis; it really does make a huge difference to those who need it.

'This year we have seen a 25% increase in the amount of people using the food bank compared with last year, and by October we had supported more than 1,750 people.'

'Putting smiles on faces'

Grantham food bank coordinator Brian Hanbury said: 'We received 50 hampers weighing almost 460kg, which will go towards helping about 300 local families.

'The donations will help us restore dignity to families and put smiles on faces, so a massive thank you goes out to all the trust staff for their valuable support.'

Boston food bank project manager Reverend Ian Evans said: 'We have three cars and a van full of the hampers – it was amazing. We can’t believe how many people have got behind this.

'Over the past few months, and particularly over the summer, we’ve seen around a 100% increase in the number of people coming to us. 

'We’re helping between 200 and 300 people a month.'

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