A family has raised £4,800 to feed midwives after one brother was upset to learn his sister was struggling to find food during her shifts at the hospital.
Whilst Charlie Lucas stayed at home to self-isolate, he made sure to keep in touch with his sister Katie on the phone, to make sure she was okay during the coronavirus crisis. However, Katie one day informed him that during her lunch break as a midwife at North Middlesex University, she was struggling to find hot and nutritious food to eat on the go.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, new mums have been allowed limited visitors which has meant that many have become incredibly anxious and have been relying more than ever on the help of the midwives. Therefore, Katie felt that she could only leave for short durations of time and there was barely any food on the supermarket shelves which could be cooked within a few minutes.
During the nighttime, many food outlets and supermarkets have had no choice but to close under the lockdown, which means midwives are relying on vending machines to eat during their long shift hours.
Charlie wanted to change this, and with the help of his fiancé Lily Atherton, dad Simon, and step mum Cheryl, they decided to set up Meals4Midwives. This would aim to supply 1,000 meals to midwives at Katie’s hospital. However, they’ve gone above and beyond this target, having raised £4,800.
Charlie told Metro: “We’ve been catching up with Katie and she just said that at weekends and at nights, food is hard to come by. They’re working these incredibly long shifts and don’t have time to make anything.
“There are lots of great initiatives out there helping the front line staff but there was nothing for midwives. Babies are still being born and the food for A&E staff isn’t filtering through to them.
“Seeing the personal side of it with Katie, we wanted to help.”
Before the coronavirus was officially deemed a pandemic, Charlie and his fiancé had been travelling Australia. Despite not completing everything they had set out to do, they decided to end the trip early as they were concerned they may be left stranded there.
The couple is now staying with Simon and Cheryl in London and with plenty of time on their hands, they wanted to put it to good use.
To promote Meals4Midwives, the couple created a JustGiving page and an Instagram account. They then partnered up with some local businesses who wanted to help and support them during this difficult time.
Charlie said: “Working with local restaurants is really important to us. Originally we were going to cook at home but we realised that lots of businesses are really struggling.
“Obviously we want to work with businesses that are still open for takeaway and work with them to make sure everything is as safe as possible.
“We don’t want big trays of things like lasagne, for example, because midwives can’t eat communally at the minute and they are also just taking breaks when they can. We want healthy, filling food that is individually packaged.”
The previous weekend, the couple did their first delivery of food to the staff at the hospital. They had partnered up with an Italian restaurant called Alfresco London who wanted to deliver food to the hungry staff.
Lily commented: “We’ve received lovely pictures of people enjoying the meals and it is keeping up morale in a difficult situation.”
Meals4Midwives aims to fundraise enough throughout this crisis so that plenty of meals are going out. However, the couple is looking at setting up similar things in their area to help others who are struggling.
Lily added: “We’d love to just carry on this idea to other places or in other areas.”