22 May 2020
Hampers for Heroes is a group of community volunteers working together to provide care and food packages for staff across all health and social care settings in the West Midlands.
Set up by two friends from Solihull, Victorian Hanson and Yasmin Paulson, who wanted to find a way to show love and appreciation to key workers across the region for the heroic work they are doing, day in and day out.
"Every day, frontline workers put their own health and safety at risk to help those who are sick or need help or care," says co-founder Victoria Hanson. "When Yasmin and I started four weeks ago, we wanted to do something to help. 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. 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."
The group recently hit the milestone of 300 food and care packages distributed to over 10,000 care workers in the West Midlands. Key workers in hospitals and care homes, as well as health workers who are self-isolating, have been surprised with ‘thank-you packages’ containing items such as biscuits, crisps, chocolate, tea coffee, snack pot meals and much-needed hand creams. The hampers have been delivered by a group of 40 community volunteers who have joined the good cause.
To date, Hampers for Heroes has raised over £3,500 via its Gofundme page, of which 100% goes towards running the good cause and purchasing items for the hampers. Food and luxury care products have also been donated by individuals.
One of the first recipients of a Hampers for Heroes care package was Dr Shakti Agrawal, a consultant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. "In such difficult times, Hampers for Heroes brought much needed smiles, and it was amazing to know that people truly care and appreciate," said Dr Agrawal. "Love and kindness are never wasted – they always make a difference."
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: "The way the West Midlands community has come together in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic has been truly heart-warming, and Hampers for Heroes is a brilliant example of this.
"I had a great time meeting the team and helping them pack some hampers, ready to be delivered to some of the key worker heroes across the region who are on the frontline against this terrible virus.
"Victoria and Yasmin should be incredibly proud of what they have set up from their garages in Solihull, and I wish them and their team all the best as they look to expand across the UK."