Coronavirus: Shoppers queue to pay for 'amazing' NHS workers' food in supermarket

Emily Cleary
·4-min read
Shoppers pay for paramedics' food (Adam Brooks/Twitter)
Coronavirus: The two paramedics had their food paid for by a stranger in a supermarket. (Adam Brooks/Twitter)

Two paramedics working to battle the coronavirus crisis had their shopping paid for by a stranger in a supermarket on Sunday.

The NHS workers were spotted in Sainsbury’s in Loughton, Essex, as they browsed the shelves.

Adam Brooks, who was in the shop at the time, said: “As I walked around the aisles I noticed two young female paramedics and I said ‘keep going, guys’ and walked on. Other shoppers also praised them too.”

By the time Brooks reached the checkouts, several people had lined up to pay for the paramedics’ shopping, he said, as a thank you for their work fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.

“A guy said to them, ‘Well done, you are doing amazing work,’ and the paramedics looked emotional,” Brooks said.

“He edged closer to them and said ‘I must pay for your shopping’ and then he tapped his card on the terminal.

“They couldn’t thank him enough. It was a nice thing to witness.”

The gesture was one of a growing number of acts of kindness as members of the public seek to recognise and reward the work of NHS staff on the front line during the pandemic.

On Thursday at 8pm, millions of households across Britain took part in Clap For Our Carers, which saw the sound of applause fill the streets.

GLASGOW,  UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 26: Residents applaud NHS staff for all their hard work during the Coronaviroutbreak on March 26, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The "Clap For Our Carers" campaign has been encouraging people across the U.K to take part in the nationwide round of applause from their windows, doors, balconies and gardens at 8pm to show their appreciation for the efforts of the NHS as they tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19). The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many countries across the world, claiming over 20,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Clap For Our Carers saw a nationwide round of applause for NHS workers on Thursday. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, actors Damien Lewis and his wife Helen McCrory and comedian Matt Lucas have launched a campaign to help provide hot meals for NHS workers and those on the front line in hospitals.

Their Feed The NHS campaign will use money raised through a Just Giving page to pay restaurants to make and deliver food for hospital staff on the frontline.

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Lewis said: “We’re attempting to raise £1m to get hot meals to NHS staff on the frontline.

“Some of our heroes are already working 20-hour shifts and these hours will only get longer as the crisis worsens. With cafes and eateries all shut, there is a real need to get healthy hot food to the hospitals.”

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06:  Damian Lewis (R) and his wife Helen McCrory attend the 'Queen of the Desert' premiere during the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival at Berlinale Palace on February 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.  (Photo by Target Presse Agentur Gmbh/Getty Images)
Helen McCrory and Damian Lewis are spearheading the Feed The NHS campaign. (Target Presse Agentur Gmbh/Getty Images)

Lewis and McCrory are spearheading the campaign with restaurant chain Leon to get 6,000 meals a day into London hospitals for critical care staff, and then hope to roll it out across the country.

Lewis said: “The aim is that everyone will get one hot meal a day.

“No one’s making any money out of this and any profits will go back into the NHS, so please give generously to help #FEEDNHS.”

Lee Abu Eoghan from Greater Manchester posted a message of thanks on a local Facebook page after neighbours reserved a parking space outside his house for his wife, an NHS nurse.

Neighbours save a space for NHS nurse during coronavirus crisis (Facebook)
Neighbours save a space for an NHS nurse during the coronavirus crisis. (Facebook)

“After my wife went to work at the hospital this morning, I opened the curtains and saw this on the road,” he said.

“She hasn't seen it yet. Like all busy streets, she normally ends up parking away from the house as there's no space near it when she comes home from her shifts.

“No one has a right to park in front of their own house, but what absolutely gorgeous caring neighbours who have done this for her. Such a caring touch.

“She was emotional when the street clapped for the NHS in the week, this will do her in! Let's keep supporting our nurses and NHS.”

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