Reigniting the community spirit of first lockdown is a driving force behind a business owner’s latest mission to help NHS frontline stafff.
Last year, Kelly Iles and her team at the Barn Kitchen in Binley Woods managed to deliver a staggering 75,290 meals to NHS workers at hospitals throughout the region last year as they battled Covid-19.
Their phenomenal efforts supported by community and business donations saw the Barn Kitchen be named as one of Pride of Pride of Britain Awards’ Heroes of the Week back in May 2020.
The following month, the Barn sadly closed but Kelly re-emerged at the Enchanted Tearooms in Leamington Spa – and her thirst to provide for NHS workers has showed no signs of abating.
She has been busy gathering donations of chocolates, sweets, face masks and lip balms to donate to frontline staff as well as baking and delivering 2,400 cakes since New Year’s Day.
“The reason I’m doing this is this time the community is not behind the NHS like lockdown one and I’m trying to bring back the spirit we had,” said Kelly.
“The nurses are exhausted and so down this time, it’s heartbreaking. So we’re sending them little parcels of love.”
There’s another reason she is back doing all she can to raise the spirits of those tasked with saving lives in testing conditions.
“My dad is currently in intensive care at Warwick Hospital with Covid-19,” she said. “So it feels really important to boost their morale at the moment as they’re working so hard to save my dad’s life.”
The Enchanted Tearooms managed to stay open for just seven days before it was forced to be temporarily closed down in November.
Kelly has switched her attentions to delivering much-needed items to hospitals and has called upon the people of Coventry and Warwickshire to support the cause.
“We’re sending cupcakes for a treat and sweets and chocolate for sugar boosts,” she said.
“Face masks because they’re all wearing these masks that leave marks on their faces so they’re sore, so face masks with aloe gel are great.
“Lip balm because their lips are so dry all the time and foot masks because they’re on their feet all day.”
Already the public has responded with more than 50 offers of chocolate to be donated and Booker UK has also donated hundreds of boxes of Cadbury’s Heroes.
Drop-off points have been established in Leamington Spa at the Enchanted Tearooms in Bath Street and at the Royal Priors Shopping Centre. Cafe 81 in Whitnash has also offered to be a venue for drop-offs.
Kelly is looking for venues in Coventry and Warwick. Anybody who can help provide a solution can email her on email@example.com
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