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Help for healthcare heroes as €400k is raised for meals

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St James’s Hospital

St James’s Hospital

St James’s Hospital

A GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for a volunteer service delivering meals to frontline healthcare workers has raised nearly €400,000.

The Feed The Heroes initiative had raised €389,914 last night.

Since it kicked-off earlier this month, volunteers have delivered more than 10,000 meals to hospital staff, ambulance crews and testing and contact tracing teams, thanks to generous food outlets and suppliers who have pitched in to offer their products.

Organisers of the campaign said they were overwhelmed by the public's response in helping those who are working to combat Covid-19.

Meanwhile, a fundraiser set up to help staff at one of the country's busiest hospitals buy personal protective equipment raised thousands in a matter of hours.

Aidan Brown, from Peadar Browns on Clanbrassil Street, Dublin, set up the fundraiser yesterday morning after hearing a plea from staff at St James's Hospital for help.

Mr Brown said the fundraiser is for all staff working in hospitals around the country as they fight the pandemic.

"We've decided to set up a GoFundMe page to try and support them. We've been in touch with trusted manufacturers in China and they're willing to ship to Ireland straight away," he said.

"We've dealt with these guys for years now, as most of our merchandise comes from this company. Any donation large or small would be greatly appreciated at this time."

Target

The fundraiser, Help Our Doctors And Nurses In Ireland, has a target of €20,000, and as of yesterday nearly €4,000 had been raised.

Two consultant doctors working at St James's made an urgent appeal seeking donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) from various industries including food, pharmaceuticals, beauticians, hairdressers and construction workers.

The doctors released a video asking for donations of unused masks, gowns and gloves.

Dr Anne Marie McLaughlin said the donated items would be used by frontline staff.

"We need personal protective equipment, masks, gowns, gloves," she said.

"If you work in the pharma or food industry and have personal protective equipment we need them,.

"I guarantee they will be used by our frontline staff."

Chief respiratory physiologist Peter Coss shared the video on Twitter.

So far, the Association of Chinese Professionals in Ireland has donated 10,000 surgical masks to the hospital for staff.