Going nationwide: Solihull mum's Hampers for Heroes drive - The Solihull Observer
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17th Aug, 2022

Going nationwide: Solihull mum's Hampers for Heroes drive

Ross Crawford 28th Nov, 2020

A SOLIHULL mum who started a collection to thank NHS staff as they battled coronavirus has now reached more than 30,000 key workers – and she’s not done yet.

Victoria Hanson’s Hampers for Heroes idea has grown from offering hand cream to nurses to delivering hundreds of care hampers to thousands of under-pressure staff.

She now wants to expand the scheme nationally to make sure the heroes working behind the scenes are not forgotten again.

“We want to help people we take for granted, even post-Covid, whenever that might be,” she said.

Hampers for Heroes: Victoria Hanson.

But to do that Victoria and her team need more funds, with each hamper costing around £70 to put together.

They have now launched a new plea for donations to keep the initiative going and meet demand, which is growing amid the second wave.

“We are struggling to meet the growing demand as we are inundated with requests and nominations for hampers,” said Victoria.

The 44-year-old works as a business psychologist, but when coronavirus struck, she found her diary empty.

Even with four children aged three to 15, she found herself needing something to fill her time.

When she spotted a social media post from a nurse showing how she and her colleagues were suffering with sore hands she saw a chance to help.

Within 10 days she had gathered an incredible 3,000 hand creams.

“I wanted to make sure they were distributed fairly and to the people who needed them so I started a Facebook page called Hampers for Heroes and it grew from that,” she said.

Victoria was joined by a dedicated team of helpers, husband James was there to help too and her children also got stuck in.

In the first 100 days of lockdown her hampers reached more than 20,000 NHS staff and since then they have reached thousands more. Recipients now also include teachers.

Sue Hartley, executive director of nursing at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust, said: “This is a wonderful gift.

“Our staff do not see themselves as heroes, they would shy away from that.

“It’s the little things that matter, like tea and coffee, that enables our staff to take a moment out.”

Visit hampersforheroes.net to find out more.

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