Trust teams up with local partners for annual food drive

The Salvation Army's Bridge Project Manager, Head of Patient Experience, Andrew Heath and Co-op Team Leader, Lisa Wildman

The Salvation Army’s Bridge Project Manager, Beverley Taylor;  Head of Patient Experience, Andrew Heath and Co-op Team Leader, Lisa Wildman

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is teaming up with the Salvation Army and Co-op stores to help local vulnerable people this Christmas.

The Trust is asking staff and the public donate food at two special events at Blackpool Victoria Hospital in December.

In addition, the Co-op are making provision for food to be donated at two of their Blackpool stores and are providing additional items to make up food packs.

The packs, which will consist of items with a good shelf like such as tinned food and pasta, will be handed out to Trust patients at Blackpool Victoria and Clifton Hospital who are discharged over Christmas and New Year and may have difficulty buying groceries.

Food will also be donated to the Salvation Army’s Bridge Project that helps and supports the most vulnerable in the local community.

Leading the campaign is Blackpool Teaching Hospital’s Head of Patient Experience, Andrew Heath. He said: “It is fantastic that we are able to once more support the Salvation Army Bridge project.

“We will also ensure that our patients are being discharged safely with the knowledge that we have been able to go the extra mile and provide additional nutritional support.

“Last time we had a massive response from staff and visitors alike and I hope that by having an extra day this year and working with the Co-op, we are able to provide even more help.”

Last year, 25 packs of food were given to patients who the nursing staff felt might struggle to go shopping over the festive period.

This year, the Co-op’s added donated items of long-life milk and biscuits will really help the cause.

The Co-op’s area manager, Zoe Holden, said: “As a community retailer, we’re delighted to be helping Blackpool Teaching Hospital and the Salvation Army this Christmas.

“Returning home after a spell in hospital can be unsettling at the best of times, but more so over the festive period when relatives or neighbours might not be on hand to help with groceries.

“Our customers are always keen to support local causes and we’re sure that they’ll be eager to donate essential food items whilst in store this December.”

Beverley Taylor, Bridge Project Manager, said: “It is fantastic to partner with BVH and Co-op to support people in food poverty.

“We understand the difficulties people face when they have had a hospital stay and they go home to an empty house and empty cupboards.

“Our emergency food parcels will help support people who for whatever reason may need this provision especially over the Christmas period.”

The food drives are being held on the mezzanine level of Blackpool Victoria Hospital from 11am-2pm on December 6 and 13, with help and advice from Age UK, The Samaritans, Mental Health Helpline, Lancashire Fire and Rescue and Lancashire Constabulary as well as a Listener booth.

Food can be donated at Co-op, Coastal House, 9 Abingdon St, Blackpool FY1 1DG and Co-op, 108 Normoss Road, Normoss FY3 8QP until December 18.

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