Yodel: We’re doing everything we can to keep the country moving
Yodel has joined an alliance of businesses, including Tesco and Absolute Taste, to form SalutetheNHS.org. The initiative will feed thousands of critical NHS workers over the next three months, and is being led by British businessman Ron Dennis CBE.
SalutetheNHS.org will begin delivering the free meals today starting at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. The following week deliveries will start at Great Ormond Street, the London children’s hospital, and from there the programme will roll out to Government targeted locations across the country.
The nutritious and ready to eat meals will be made available free of charge to ICU teams, anaesthetic teams and A&E staff, who are unable to leave their clinical areas during their 12 hour shifts, which is the protocol being adopted by all COVID-19 designated hospitals. This service enables them to stay close to wards at all times without having to change out of protective clothing.
Mike Hancox, Chief Executive at Yodel said: “We’re doing everything we can to keep the country moving during this unprecedented time and our colleagues across the business feel honoured to be able to support such a worthy cause. We are tremendously grateful for everything that the NHS is doing, and it is a privilege to be able to support workers. Producing and distributing meals to the NHS frontline will require careful planning and a collaborative effort from all the partners involved, and we’re confident we have the right team in place to do it.”
The Dennis family is donating £1 million to seed fund the initiative through their Dreamchasing Foundation, which is a charity, alongside £500,000 in match-funding. The Taylor Family Foundation has been the first to contribute to the match-fund with £50,000. They have been supported by Absolute Taste, one of Britain’s largest catering groups with its state-of-the-art kitchen in Bicester, Oxfordshire, while logistic support is being provided by parcel delivery service Yodel. Tesco will donate all the food and ingredients for the one million meals.
Ron Dennis CBE, co-founder of SalutetheNHS.org, said: “This is a time when all of us, individuals and businesses alike, need to stand up and be counted in the effort to combat COVID-19. We’re all in this together. I am delighted to be leading this initiative to help ensure that vital NHS workers have nutritious meals while they work every hour in this fight. It means they have one less thing to worry about. We have called this SalutetheNHS.org because I think we are all in awe of the work they are doing to save lives.
“I would like to thank Tesco, Absolute Taste, Yodel, Leeways, Domestic & General, Team Rubicon, Hunter Design, Withers and Maitland/AMO, for the enormous support they are giving. This is a huge logistical effort to build a major, professional food delivery operation almost from scratch in a week. I have been so impressed by the fantastic things we have achieved together so far, but we need support from others, as well as ongoing donations to keep this whole operation going.”
SalutetheNHS.org is now calling for other supporters to donate or make a specific contribution as production grows, and is asking people to call the dedicated hotline on 0800 497 0797 or to visit the campaign’s Just Giving page.