A new supermarket is opening in Preston – and absolutely everything on the shelves will be free of charge for staff of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.Advertisement
Doors to the NHS Heroes Support Hub will open at 4pm on Thursday 23 April.
The store is located at Fulwood Central retail park, which is within walking distance of Royal Preston Hospital. It will open seven days a week from 8am to 10am and from 4pm to 8pm to follow clinical staff shift patterns seven days.
Observing all coronavirus social distancing rules, volunteers will oversee staff self-serve a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, non-perishable goods such as pasta and rice, tinned, jar and packet foods, frozen and chilled ready meals, bottled water and other drinks, milk from the fridge plus household and toiletry products.
The idea for the NHS Heroes Support Hub came from Preston’s Muslim community, after the owner of the retail development offered the use of a free 30 metre by 18 metre unit. Once shared, the whole community quickly became involved.
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Project leader Naeem Din, who is a member of Preston’s Masjid-e-Aqsa Mosque and a representative of both the city’s Leao Marinho Brazalian Jiu Jitsu Academy and the charity Aspiring Communities, said: “We have people of all faiths and backgrounds volunteering all kinds of help to make our hub the best it can be.
“Ask not what the NHS can do for you, but what you can do for the NHS. The NHS doesn’t discriminate and whether you are Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Hindu or of no particular faith, whatever your colour and creed you can donate supplies, collect donations or give time.
“With pubs and restaurants closed, we have had offers of a lot of frozen food. We have had a freezer unit donated but we don’t have as much capacity as we need to take all the donations, so if anyone can either give or loan us additional units, we would be immensely grateful.
“It’s our intention to be able to offer our local NHS heroes as much variety as possible for as long as they need us to serve them.”
Paula Wilson, Head of Charities and Fundraising for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is so amazing. We feel very privileged to have this unique facility on our doorstep. We are humbled by the local community’s show of love and support for our NHS heroes. It is so kind and we are very grateful.”
Read more: Fulwood Facebook group shows neighbourly love with Royal Preston Hospital donations
Anyone wanting to donate items or time to the NHS Heroes Support Hub should first email firstname.lastname@example.org. To observe non-essential travel and social distancing rules, collections, timed drop-offs and volunteer slots are being arranged in advance.
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What do you think of the new shop? Will you be getting involved? Let us know in the comments.