Homerton hospital and community staff have donated 55kg of food, drinks and essential items to say thank you to their local community for supporting them throughout the pandemic.

Over the past 18 months staff received hundreds of meals from local restaurants at the height of the pandemic along with numerous boxes of chocolates, cans of drinks and other gifts.

Businesses and schools also provided additional surgical scrubs and masks for intensive care staff.

To give back, Homerton staff have been donating items to Hackney Foodbank, dropping off donations at collection sites around the borough.

Matt Asbrey, head of culture at Homerton, said: “The staff were keen to give back something to the community that rallied around them during these difficult times. Offering food, drinks and other essentials to those most needing them was one way to say thank you."

Last week, staff donated 55kg of items to the Foodbank at their Florence Bennett Centre warehouse on Cherbury Street.

The donations are part of an initiative aiding the recovery and rehabilitation of staff following the pandemic.

The Trust has been running a Five Ways to Wellbeing campaign supporting staff to take small, positive steps to improve their wellbeing.

“The initiative has proved so successful that staff have asked that foodbank collection points within the Trust remain on a permanent basis to allow them to continue giving back to Hackney," Mr Asbrey added.

Over the past 18 months, the foodbank has provided over 14,500 emergency food parcels to local people in crisis, supporting approximately 10,400 people experiencing hunger in Hackney.

Shell Tran from Hackney Foodbank said: “Lower Universal Credit payments, the end of furlough, and rising energy prices means that more people in Hackney are finding themselves in crises, With the generous help of the staff at Homerton, we can continue to support our community through these challenges and together, we can aim to achieve our vision of a hunger-free Hackney, where everybody can afford to eat.

“We are so thankful to the staff at Homerton for everything they do.”