Today we launch our podcast series, OA Stories, we hope you enjoy listening.
Harvest for Heroes
Harvest for Heroes is an initiative by OAs Oliver Bailey and William Townsend who both left the College in 1994 and have stayed in touch ever since. Like so many they have found that they have time on their hands and a strong desire to help others during the corona virus pandemic. The project is looking to raise £500,000 to give frontline NHS staff free fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy and pasta at the end of their often long and extremely challenging shifts.
Only a couple of weeks have passed since Oliver had the idea to help his local hospital (Kings College) which was chosen in particular because of its connection with Oliver and his family. Oliver’s son was born with a rare form of spina bifida and as he says 'I owe a huge debt of thanks to the neurosurgeon Bassel Zebian and his team at Kings who operated successfully, allowing my son to make a good recovery.
‘I kept hearing that, although the hospitals were getting flooded with lovely cakes and snacks (not always the healthiest), what was also needed was fresh vegetables, fruit and dairy to take home after long shifts and to save having to queue up at supermarkets that may be empty.
So I started Harvest For Heroes and got a few friends involved (including another old boy, Will Townsend) as well as New Covent Garden market who have lots of spare capacity due to the closure of all of the restaurants, pubs and hotels they would usually be supplying to.’
Harvest for Heroes has already raised over £25,000 in just over two weeks and Oliver has personally visited over 15 hospitals with the list growing all the time. You can find out more about the project and how to support their work here: www.harvestforheroes.com