Virgin Atlantic crew make flying visit to donate goodie bags to clinical staff

May 18, 2020

Cinical staff at St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping had a treat in store today (18 May) when they were given a flying visit by Virgin Atlantic crew members delivering 4,000 goodie bags.

The gifts of ‘Upper Class amenity kits’, usually given to airline passengers, contain toothbrushes, earplugs, eye masks, hand cream and lip balm. The kits will be handed out to clinical staff at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) to help them have a bit of ‘me time’.

The goodie bags are just one of many kind donations that the Trust has received in recent weeks to help staff cope with COVID-19.

The Trust’s frontline teams have been stunned by the volume of gifts from the public. Food, toiletries and protective equipment have flooded in from residents, schools and businesses. Protective masks, visors and clothing, hand creams, pizzas, tea bags, cakes and wash bags are among the items that have been donated.

Sean Leahy, executive director of people and culture at EPUT, said: “Everyone at the Trust has been overwhelmed by the number of generous donations we have received.

“These are challenging times, both physically and emotionally, for our staff, particularly those working tirelessly on our inpatient wards.

“The well-being of our staff is a priority for the Trust and we have a number of support services in place for colleagues experiencing emotional difficulties.

“As an organisation we hold regular giveaways and competitions to say thank you to our staff. To know that their efforts are also being recognised by the public through such kind gestures means such a lot. I would like to thank everyone who has donated so generously. It really is appreciated.”

While the staff at EPUT work hard to keep the public safe, every effort is made at the Trust to protect their own well-being. The Trust has been providing psychological counselling, welfare checks for staff who become unwell as well as simply making sure basic needs are met such as providing meals for ward staff.

Paying tribute to the staff at EPUT, Corneel Koster, Chief Customer Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “We are in awe of the hard work and dedication being shown by healthcare professionals at this challenging time. As passenger flights have been temporarily paused, we felt that giving away our stock of 4,000 sustainable ‘Goodie Bags’ to the NHS was the least we could do to say thank you.”

All donations to EPUT’s charitable funds are welcome. To make a gift visit Virgin Money Giving page and type ‘staff’ in the message box when making your donation. The Trust will then ensure your donation is used to benefit our staff.