Editor’s note: This article has been updated in light of the UK’s lockdown on March 23. It is being constantly reviewed.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 putting major strain on the UK healthcare system, businesses up and down the country have shown support for NHS workers, key workers, and vulnerable people in whatever way they can, with offers of tea and coffee, discounted burgers, and even free accomodation.
As the COVID-19 crisis worsened in the UK, large chains such as Pret A Manger and McDonalds tried to help where they could with the offer of free or discounted food and drinks. However, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a country-wide lockdown on the evening of March 23, a vast number of businesses have had to close their stores, and some have decided to suspend delivery also. Below is the latest information about some of the country's largest businesses that have shown support for NHS staff.
ITV has announced that its Thursday, April 16 viewing schedule will be dedicated to all the frontline NHS workers involved in the coronavirus outbreak. The day will celebrate the NHS, send messages of support to frontline workers, and help raise funds.
The broadcaster has paired up with NHS Charities Together on an appeal that asks viewers to donate to the NHS and send messages of support to their staff. By texting the word CLAP to 70507, you can donate £5 to the charitable organisation.
Premier League Footballers
There’s been much discussion in the media of late regarding Premier League footballers’ incomes and a potential cut to salaries. It’s now been announced that multiple clubs are banding together to donate to the NHS during this difficult time. A statement read:
“We can confirm that after extensive conversations between a huge number of players from multiple clubs Premier League clubs we have created our own collective player initiative, #PlayersTogether, and have partnered with NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) in order to assist them in generating and distributing funds quickly and efficiently to where they are needed most."
Per the Mirror, the initiative has already raised £4 million for the NHS. The idea came from Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, and England captain Harry Kane is among players who shared the statement on their social media accounts, alongside the likes of Manchester United's Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford, Watford's Troy Deeney, and Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk.
As of March 30 Uber said it’ll be offering 200,000 complimentary trips to medical staff in order to support them as they take care of patients suffering with Covid-19. The rides will be up to the value of £15.
Similarly, Uber Eats will offer 100,000 £10 vouchers, which NHS staff can use to buy a meal from any of the restaurants and convenience shops that are partnered with the company.
Online takeaway app Deliveroo has pledged to deliver 500,000 hot dishes to NHS Trusts. Hospitals will be able to order food with Deliveroo directly, not via the app. This is being started in Manchester and London with the plan to role it out in other regions.
Pret A Manger
Pret A Manger has announced that it will open 10 London stores close to hospitals including St Thomas’, Royal Brompton, University College Hospital, St George’s, St John & St Elizabeth and Moorfields Eye Hospital. The shops will be takeaway and delivery only and run by staff who have volunteered.
Before shutting down stores, Pret was offering free hot drinks and 50% off the bill for NHS workers.
McDonalds showed their appreciation to NHS staff and others baring the brunt of this pandemic by offering free drinks. However, they have now suspended in-store, delivery, takeaway, and drive thru services.
Burger King were also sharing free drinks with NHS workers alongside social workers and emergency services but, following the UK lockdown, they closed for business on March 24. Bustle UK has reached out to the company’s press reps to understand whether delivery and drive thru will still be operating in the coming weeks and, if so, whether NHS discounts will still stand.
Pizza Hut offered 50% off takeaway food to NHS staff but have since had to close their restaurants. Bustle UK has reached out to the company’s press reps to understand whether delivery will still be operating in the coming weeks and, if so, whether NHS staff will receive discounts on that.
Chelsea Football club has stepped up to offer the NHS help with a huge logistical issue — accommodation. They've announced they'll make available the Millennium Hotel at Stamford bridge for NHS workers who need somewhere to stay. The hotel will be available for a two-month period initially and all of the costs will be covered by the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich.
Eco-friendly menstrual cycle product brand ohne has pledged to donate 25,000 free organic period products to NHS wards and workers. Co-founder Leah Remfy-Peploe said in a statement, “we feel it’s now more essential than ever to look out for each other - especially the staff on NHS wards who are on the front lines of this pandemic. Now, thanks to the help of some of our favourite brands and businesses, we can get more free, organic period products sent out more quickly, to more people.”
Astrid and Miyu
Independent jewellery brand Astrid and Miyu wanted to shine a light on the amazing work and dedication of some of the key workers fighting on the frontline of COVID-19. They’ve got a 30% discount code on their website for NHS workers and teachers. It reads, “as a thank you from the A&M team, for all your hard work, we are offering you an exclusive discount so you can treat yourself to something special.”
Bespoke jewelry brand Kimaï is also supporting families and individuals struggling during the COVID-19 lockdown. It’s donating 30% of their proceeds for the month of April to the Corona Care Challenge. Established by Samantha Shaer, the Corona Care Challenge puts together care packages which we will distribute out and deliver to those in need.
Domino’s has said it will donate 100,000 pizzas to NHS staff and frontline workers up and down the country, to say thank you for their hard work and dedication during these times. Their website says, “we know there are so many people out there who have been tirelessly working to help communities in the crisis. That’s why our Domino’s stores will be donating locally, to the workers who need a little pick-me-up the most.”
Leon are offering NHS workers 50% and free food deliveries to hospitals.
For those with plant-based diets, By Chloe is offering a 50% discount to NHS staff.
WHSmith often have shops within hospitals and have announced that during this time the NHS discount will be upped from 10% to 20%. NHS staff will just need to present their ID.
Simba is offering a 50% discount to NHS and private healthcare workers until June 30 on their Simba Hybrid mattress so when frontline workers are at home at least they can get a good night's sleep. You can access the discount at health service discounts.
Starbucks is offering free hot drinks to all NHS, paramedic, and council workers during this tough time. It said, “in support of their courage, commitment and resilience, we will offer free filtered coffee to all NHS, council and emergency services staff, effective immediately.”
To show their appreciation Yo! Sushi Is offering NHS members of staff and emergency services workers 50% off food.
To say thank you Caffè Nero is offering members of the NHS free coffee, tea or hot chocolates. You just have to show your ID.
Ruby Cup are offering free menstrual cups to health workers working on the front lines of the pandemic, many of whom are doing long shifts with few or no breaks. Julie Weigaard Kjær, CEO and Co-Founder of Ruby Cup says “we’re hearing reports of period products disappearing from shelves due to panic buying. Thousands of health workers are taking on long shifts with very few breaks. When they do get time off, spending hours tracking down period products should not be their main concern. Whilst at work, many health workers are wearing protective clothing that is prohibitive and makes bathroom breaks difficult. For health workers who have periods, this means that attending to their own needs and managing their periods with dignity becomes difficult. To help where we can, we’re offering free Ruby Cups to anyone working on the front lines.”
Health workers and potential distributors can get in touch with Ruby Cup on email@example.com. Cups are available to health workers across Europe.
Lark & Berry
Bespoke jewellery brand Lark & Berry is running the offer of 40 percent off everything during April for people that work in the NHS. If you work in the NHS or you’d like to buy something for someone who does then contact them directly and they’ll generate a code for you.
Blue Light Card holders and people that work in the NHS can claim 50 percent off any product at Hotel Chocolat because it’s important to treat yourself right now.
Nursem is a skincare and wellness brand that specifically has nurses in mind. Their products soothe hands after they’ve been washed and scrubbed a lot. They’ve committed to donate an extra 10,000 hand cream products to the NHS frontline.
If you’d like to nominate someone or a team post a picture on Instagram or Twitter with your hands up using the hashtag #HandsUpForNurses, tagging @nursemskincare and including the nominee’s name(s) in the caption.
Femcare and hygiene brand DAME is giving away free organic tampons to NHS healthcare workers. With hospital workers working stressful, long hours they wanted to ease the burden of picking up essentials. If you’d like to access this deal get in touch with DAME via an NHS email address to claim your tampon delivery vouchers.
Key workers have been so important throughout this time. To honour their work Oliver Bonas is offering NHS, teachers, police, emergency services, armed forces, and carers 25 percent off everything online. The discount can be used with a Blue Light Card or a We Are Discounts account.
If you or someone you’ve been in close contact with appears to have shown or be showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, visit the NHS website in the UK to find out the next steps you should take or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.
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