Storm Reader

Half Mag / Half Zine

Family raises £4,800 to feed midwives as sister struggles to get food on shift

Charlie Lucas is isolating at home but he’s been keeping in touch with his sister Katie on the phone.

Katie works as a midwife at North Middlesex University hospital and has been doing long shifts during the coronavirus crisis as colleagues have to self isolate when they have any symptoms.

With limited visitors allowed, new mums are facing an anxious time and midwives want to be there to support them as much as possible.

She told her family that one of the hardest things is finding hot and nutritious food to eat on the go at the minute.

Many food outlets around hospitals are now closed and at nighttime, most onsite facilities are shut, meaning they have to rely on vending machines to get something to eat.

Charlie, with the help of his fiancé Lily Atherton dad Simon and stepmum Cheryl, decided to do something to help.

They set up the Meals4Midwives fund a week ago, aiming to supply 1,000 meals to midwives at Katie’s hospital.

Now, they’ve almost hit their target of £5,000.

Charlie explained: ‘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.’

Lily and Charlie had been travelling and were in Australia but decided to come home early as they were worried about being stranded there.

They are staying with Simon and Cheryl in London and with time on their hands, they wanted to be useful.

They created the Meals4Midwives JustGiving page, as well as an Instagram account, and decided to partner with some local businesses to give support them during this difficult time too.

Charlie adds: ‘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.’

They did their first drop this weekend, partnering with Italian restaurant Alfresco London to bring food to hungry staff.

Lily added: ‘We’ve received lovely pictures of people enjoying the meals and it is keeping up morale in a difficult situation.’

Meals4Midwives hopes to keep fundraising throughout the crisis to deliver as many meals as possible but they also want to help people set up similar things in their area.

Lil adds: ‘We’d love to just carry on this idea to other places or in other areas.’