Staff stood by tills in the Westfield London Marks & Spencer store holding shopping bags

Local businesses and organisations pull out all the stops for residents in need

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Image captionWestfield London has worked with retailers such as M&S and Waitrose to produce care packages for local residents

Businesses and local organisations across the borough have shown what big hearts they have during the coronavirus crisis.

From the world-renowned Imperial College London and retail giants like Westfield London, to local independent pubs and restaurants, they have all come to the support of local residents in need.

The response to the pandemic in H&F has been incredible with everything from food parcels to free tech classes to help the elderly stay in touch with their loved ones during the lockdown.

Here is a round-up of some of the amazing things local businesses are doing for the local community during the pandemic.

Westfield London

Europe’s largest shopping centre in White City has worked with retailers such as M&S and Waitrose to produce care packages for local residents.

More than 1,000 care packages have been distributed so far through the council’s H&F CAN network.

To take care of those taking care of us, Westfield has also provided Queen Charlotte’s Hospital with furniture to create a dedicated, comfortable space for staff to take a well-deserved break in.

Free parking has also been made available at the shopping centre for anyone who works for the NHS.

Pear Drops

Husband and wife team Lulu Darling and Daz Seager, who run the Pear Tree pub in Margravine Road, alongside local resident Wendy Schoonjans-Dawes are helping to feed the elderly and homeless in H&F.

Man stood over work surface in kitchen looking at pre-cooked food trays and holding his thumbs up
Image caption: Daz Seager who runs the Pear Tree pub in Margravine Road

The voluntary organisation was set up in response to the pandemic. The Pear Drops team have used the donations they have received to provide food parcels to those residents most in need.

“It’s a privileged position to be the landlord of The Pear Tree because we are an important part of the social fabric of an area and our initiative to help our local elderly and vulnerable comes from the skills we have as net workers and caterers and our passion for our community to survive and thrive,” said Daz.

While out delivering food, Pear Drop founder Daz bumped into Colin, who was sleeping rough, and brought him back to the pub in Hammersmith to give him somewhere to stay, and who is now helping out with the food distribution.

Please donate to their cause here.

Imperial College London

The world-renowned university is helping isolated older residents with a phone buddy for tech and befriending support.

Residents receive two and a half hour sessions a week over the phone or via Skype with a dedicated Imperial volunteer.

They are also working with the council to provide families in need with informal science learning classes.

Twenty-seven medicine students are supporting seven local organisations which are providing frontline services and support in response to COVID-19.

It includes helping H&F Healthwatch translate the stream of information on COVID-19 into a user-friendly FAQ’s resource for residents.

They are also supporting the BME Health Forum to create accessible and captioned videos in multiple languages to cover NHS and government guidance on COVID-19, and assisting the Queen’s Park Rangers Community Trust digitise their exercise classes for older residents to keep active at home.

Yoox-Net-A-Porter

The retail giant based in White City’s tech hotspot has provided vans to help Age UK make almost 400 deliveries of essential supplies to residents in need across the borough.

Elder Press Cafe

Business owner Lindsay Elder has launched the Project Eats initiative to help the H&F Foodbank continue its great work and promote local businesses.

The cafe in South Black Lion Lane, Hammersmith, held a number of flash sales of tasty ravioli dishes after joining forces with River Cafe head chef Joe Trivelli. The team raised almost £2000 and donated the proceeds to the H&F Foodbank.

Now Lindsay is looking to get more local businesses involved in the scheme, donating a percentage of their sales income to the foodbank while also promoting other local businesses.

For any hospitality partners or grocers who are unable to open or have unused goods/stocks, they are encouraging to donate all canned, and non-perishable goods to the Foodbank in Olympia.

Email Andre Johnsen for more info.

Il Pagliaccio restaurant

Man and two Charing Cross Hospital medical staff holding an open pizza box
Image caption: The Il Pagliaccio restaurant in Fulham has been donating pizzas to hospital staff at Charing Cross hospital

The Il Pagliaccio restaurant in Fulham has been donating pizzas to hospital staff at Charing Cross hospital and other local emergency services throughout the crisis.

The Italian eatery has also launched a 50% discount for NHS, emergency service workers and H&F Council home care workers.

Open Cell

The bio-tech hub in Shepherds Bush is developing a COVID-19 testing facility in its containers at the Old Laundry Yard, situated in Shepherds Bush Market.

Find out more here.

Business support

“These are great examples of the amazing community spirit we are seeing across the borough,” said Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for the Economy.

“Local businesses and organisations are all suffering due to the coronavirus lockdown but are still showing extraordinary levels of compassion for residents in need.”

Find out more about what H&F Council is doing to support local businesses during COVID-19 here.

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