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Published: 27 July 2020

Delivering meals for the hardworking NHS with Surrey Drive

Local initiative feeds key workers at Surrey Hospital.

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Surrey Drive is a local initiative established by Surrey Event Professionals (SEP), designed to ensure that the valiant NHS staff at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, who are working tirelessly to keep us safe during the Covid-19 crisis, are kept fed with delicious and nutritious hot meals.

SEP, is a network run by and for event and venue professionals, most of whom have experienced a challenging couple of months with their entire sector shutting down during the lockdown period and so have been unable to work. After seeing the upsetting stories of NHS workers struggling to get essential food items from depleted supermarket shelves following long and exhausting shifts they felt compelled to find a way to help.

With a large professional group of event caterers to hand, SEP were confident that they could facilitate the delivery of meals on mass. A fundraising page was put in place to raise money for the produce, and caterers who would typically be busy during the wedding season set about their mission to deliver 1200 meals to staff at the hospital every week.

The University’s Owen Grainger-Jones, Senior Teaching Fellow in Tourism and Hospitality Management, is a member of SEP and as soon as he heard about the initiative he volunteered to lend his support.

Speaking about his involvement, Owen said: “As soon as I heard about Surrey Drive, I knew I wanted to help in whatever way I could. After signing up, I was tasked with delivering meals and packed lunches to various NHS locations in the Surrey area. My role was a very small part in a nine-week project that resulted in the delivery of over 25,000 meals and packed lunches to NHS staff”.

This story really does show that donations and volunteering really do make a difference.

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