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