Dulwich resident launches £500,000 fundraising campaign

Oliver Bailey is launching a campaign to support NHS frontline staff

Oliver and Henry Bailey

Oliver Bailey, 43, from Dulwich, is launching a campaign to support NHS frontline staff as a tribute to the King’s College Hospital team who helped treat his son, who was born with spina bifida.

Oliver was inspired to set up the Harvest for Heroes campaign, which aims to deliver fruit, vegetables, milk and pasta to hospitals across London during the COVID-19 outbreak, including Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley, as a way to help hard-working hospital teams.

Oliver explained: “In 2018, my son Henry was born with spina bifida. It was a huge shock to the family, and we had no idea what the future would hold. Luckily, we had an incredible team looking after us at King’s. Henry underwent a seven hour operation with Mr Bassel Zebian and as a result, he’s able to walk today. I can never thank the staff enough for their care.

“Over the past few weeks, I’d seen stories of NHS workers left with empty supermarket shelves at the end of their shift, and I wanted to do something to help. The Harvest for Heroes campaign delivers healthy and nutritious food supplies, sourced from New Covent Garden Market, to hospitals throughout London. We’re aiming to raise £500,000 to help NHS staff stay healthy and well.

“This is my opportunity do my bit and show the NHS how much we all care. I’m sure the community will come together and show their support for NHS staff who are pulling out all the stops to keep everyone safe.”

Bassel Zebian, Consultant Paediatric and Adult Neurosurgeon at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are delighted to hear that Henry is doing so well and that he has fully recovered from his surgery. Words cannot express our gratitude to his whole family for sharing his recovery with us, and for their support in these difficult times.

“Over the past few weeks I have been filled with pride and humbled by the passion, hard work and selflessness of all those around me who have rallied together in the face of great adversity. Everyone is working round the clock to deliver care in new ways amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and knowing that staff don't have to worry about going to the shops after long shifts makes a huge difference. We truly cannot thank our local community and all those supporting us - on the ground as well as through initiatives such as this one - for their kindness."

Rebecca Barrett from New Covent Garden Market, London’s leading wholesale market, said: “We are proud to support what Oliver has done so quickly in launching this fantastic charitable initiative to ensure London’s frontline NHS staff have easy access to nutritious fruit and vegetables from Premier Foods, one of many exceptional traders here at New Covent Garden Market.”

To support the Harvest for Heroes campaign, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/harvestforheroes

For further information please contact:
Elizabeth Mills
Senior Press Officer
Extension: +44 (0)20 3299 5935

Notes to editors

1. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals, training over 900 dentists, 750 doctors and 300 nurses every year. The Trust is recognized internationally for its work in liver disease and transplantation, neurosciences, cardiac, haemato-oncology, stroke and major trauma. On 1 October 2013, King’s took over the running of the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley and Orpington Hospital, as well as some services at Beckenham Beacon and Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup. The new enlarged organisation has over 10,500 staff and provides over 1 million patient contacts a year. 9,000 babies are delivered by our hospitals each year, and over 750 patients come to our Emergency Departments every day. For more information, please visit the website. You can also support the work of King’s College Hospital at supportkings.org.uk

2. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts. We work collectively to make sure that the lessons from research are used more swiftly, effectively and systematically to provide better and more joined up physical and mental health care for people.
Our partnership brings together:

  • three of the UK’s leading NHS Foundation Trusts
  • a world-leading university for health research and education
  • nearly 4.3 million patient contacts
  • more than 43,000 NHS and university staff
  • 31,000 students
  • a combined annual turnover of more than £3.7 billion.
    http://www.kingshealthpartners.org @kingshealth

3. At King’s College Hospital we fundraise for the best in treatment, research and health education, leading-edge equipment and improving well-being in our communities. By uniting doctors, nurses, researchers and academics with our supporters and volunteers we can provide the best patient care that goes above and beyond. Find out more and support us at supportkings.org.uk