A fitness club for staff at the Royal Free Hospital has been transformed into a ‘supermarket’ which is distributing vital essentials to frontline workers free of charge.

Thanks to funding and donations from the Royal Free Charity, hospital staff are able to pick up groceries, household essentials and self-care items – many of which are being donated by the community and companies.

The Rec Club, next to the hospital and which is part of the Royal Free Charity, has been repurposed with trestle tables containing everything from rice and onions to deodorant and soap. In addition, a wall display of cards from local children has been placed near the entrance to raise staff spirits.

Kelly Rush, who manages the club and is now heading up the ‘supermarket’, said: “There has already been an incredible response from companies – local and national - who want to express their thanks to staff and do what they can to help. We’ve been overwhelmed by the fantastic donations but we definitely do need more to keep coming in each and every day.  Staff are telling me this is absolutely brilliant and are incredibly grateful for the support and good will clearly on display.”

Judy Dewinter, chair of the Royal Free Charity, said: “The dedication being shown by staff in the response to COVID-19 (coronavirus) is remarkable, and we are listening carefully to what matters to staff. They are putting their patients first and this is a real opportunity for us to help them to take care of themselves and their families. Seeing staff leave with a full bag and a smile on their face is absolutely fantastic.”

At Barnet Hospital free community chests have been created. These are boxes that are being filled with snacks, drinks and self-care products, which are being distributed to staff rooms and kitchens across the hospital site.

If you are a business and want to help, e-mail the charity at RFLHeroes@royalfreecharity.org – deliveries need to be co-ordinated as we can not accept otherwise.

Alternatively if you would like to help make a donation to help support Royal Free London staff then go here to find out more.