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Coronavirus: ‘Heartwarming’ volunteers look after the vulnerable in Maida Vale and help staff at St Mary’s Hospital

PUBLISHED: 11:10 10 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:10 10 April 2020

Food deliveries from the Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society to St Mary's Hospital. Picture: Alice Sinclair

Food deliveries from the Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society to St Mary's Hospital. Picture: Alice Sinclair

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Delivering food to St Mary’s Hospital, looking after Maida Vale’s most vulnerable and trying to give the area’s businesses a boost has left Alice Sinclair from the Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society (PWMVS) a busy woman during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.

Staff at St Mary's Hospital have also been given cheering picture's of support drawn by Maida Vale's children. Picture: Alice SinclairStaff at St Mary's Hospital have also been given cheering picture's of support drawn by Maida Vale's children. Picture: Alice Sinclair

Alice, who also edits the Maida Unveiled magazine, has been co-ordinating the voluntary local effort to support hospitals and the vulnerable amid the crisis.

“It’s really busy now. We are helping three wards at St Mary’s, and we’ve literally just done a delivery run.”

A combination of voluntary help and support from businesses such as Raouls in Clifton Road – who are supplying soups to the hospital in partnership with the PWMVS – is keeping doctors fed and watered.

Alice added: “We are taking three car loads worth of food from Costco. Once a week we have been delivering to the wards. We have got donations coming in from local and national companies. Innocent Smoothies are one of the national companies who got in touch.”

Food deliveries from the Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society to St Mary's Hospital. Picture: Alice SinclairFood deliveries from the Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society to St Mary's Hospital. Picture: Alice Sinclair

Alice is also helping to co-ordinate support for those affected by the crisis within the community.

“I have been ‘Tinder-matching’ volunteers with vulnerable people and asking them to call twice a week. There’s so much heartwarming work going on.

“We’ve got a team of nine volunteers and we’ve got a number of vulnerable residents we are looking after too – one of whom we were put in contact with when their family got in touch all the way from Melbourne, Australia.”

The society’s hospital deliveries also include paintings and drawings produced by local children, who have been dropping them off through Alice’s letterboxes during their daily walks.

Staff at St Mary's Hospital have also been given cheering picture's of support drawn by Maida Vale's children. Picture: Alice SinclairStaff at St Mary's Hospital have also been given cheering picture's of support drawn by Maida Vale's children. Picture: Alice Sinclair

The next task, Alice said, is to use some old-fashioned skills to increase the supply of masks to staff at St Mary’s.

“We are looking for people who can sew,” she said. “I have got some hospital-approved material from one of the surgeons to make masks. We are really trying to get in touch with people who’ve got sewing machines.”

The society is also keen to help boost local businesses who may be struggling in the difficult climate.

To help the society to look after the vulnerable in W9 and the NHS staff at St Mary’s Hospital, contact Alice@w9w2.co.uk or visit w9w2.co.uk.


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