It’s impossible to ignore the Coronavirus and the effect it has had on the country. From the little things like not being able to visit the shops or head to your local to more devastating consequences like the immense loss of life and the separation of families for an extended period. It can be easy to just feel hopeless. But, here at Manchester Young Professionals, we’re all about being positive so we decided to help!

In these trying times, one of the many silver linings has been the attention, love and admiration shown for our frontline workers that work hard each and every day to help those affected by Coronavirus. Here at Manchester Young Professionals, we were in awe of these people and their selflessness. Then, we thought ‘How can we help these amazing people?’ and that’s when it dawned on us let’s try and feed as many of them as possible!

So with the UK in the peak of lockdown and the streets, avenues and towns in Greater Manchester deserted we got to it and set up our Feed Our Heroes fundraiser alongside our good friends Eat MCR and MCR Finest who each donated £250 to kickstart the campaign. Beginning in April, our goal was to feed as many NHS key workers as possible with hot meals and basic food items, together with supporting Manchester-based cafes and restaurants.

The outpouring of support and love from businesses in Manchester has been amazing. Everyone here at Manchester Young Professionals can’t thank them enough, especially considering they have so much to worry about themselves

We’ve all seen on the news how awful this virus is but it’s also been great to see the appreciation the country has shown for our NHS doctors, nurses and care home staff – they are all superstars.

As well as Eat MCR and MCR Finest, we teamed up with loads of great restaurants, cafes and coffee shops that all decided to chip in and help feed these heroes. It was so heartening to see people’s willingness to help without wanting anything in return. It was the epitome of the Manchester community spirit that we love so much and makes our city the best place to live (we think so at least!).

Since April, we have provided an incredible 5,000 meals to people working in the NHS. All of this would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of those people that cooked the meals and Street Cars who helped distribute them. There were also incredible donations and fundraising activities which helped us make more meals for even more keyworkers.

Commenting on the fundraiser Ross Lane, Administration Manager and Personal Assistant to the Pharmacy Senior Leadership Team, said: “Today we received the final donation of hot meals from Feed Our Heroes MCR, who have donated nearly 5,000 meals for our dedicated NHS staff across our family of hospitals. We cannot thank them enough for this kindness”.

He added: ‘I’d like to extend a direct thank you on behalf of all in the Pharmacy team here – there has been a buzz every week at the brilliant food you have provided us with and it really has been a morale boost for all. Please do send our thanks and gratitude to all involved in doing this for us.”

With the country slowly easing out of lockdown and the NHS starting to return to some sort of normalcy, we decided to bring the fundraiser to an end last June. Final deliveries were made and the remaining funds, which came to a grand total of £2,400, went to Eat Well MCR, a fantastic charity that helps vulnerable Mancunians with food and care packages.

We hope that the 5,000 meals enjoyed by NHS staff were welcomed and we hope we brought some small chink of light during this difficult time.

To donate to Eat Well MCR head on over to their donation page.