April 7, 2020
Surrey Drive is an initiative by local event industry professionals, designed to ensure that the brave and incredible NHS staff at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford, who are working tirelessly to keep us safe during the COVID-19 crisis, are kept fed with delicious, nutritious hot meals. Every donation counts! Support the cause by clicking the link below to donate.
Difficult times for the events world, but….
What strange and unusual times we are living in! The COVID-19 virus has changed the landscape of our world and has affected each and every one of us in different ways.
From a business perspective, the events and hospitality world has been hit disproportionately hard. Enquiries have been drying up, bookings have been postponed or even cancelled altogether. Amazing, enthusiastic staff – who love nothing more than the vibrant, social nature of their industry – are laid up at home, either furloughed by their employers or having, very sadly, lost their jobs.
Difficult times indeed. You’d think that at a time like this, owners of companies operating in the events world would simply pull down their shutters and try to weather the storm. But at Inside Outside, we along with many other plucky members of the Surrey Event Professionals (SEP) networking group, have got together and created the Surrey Drive.
Events professionals work together to help feed the NHS!
Surrey Drive is a donation based campaign, created to ensure that the amazing NHS staff, who are doing all that they can to look after us during this difficult time, are looked after too. We’ve all heard the stories – courageous NHS staff, unable to get the essential food items that they need from depleted supermarket shelves following long and exhausting shifts at the hospital.
Event designer and SEP member Hannah Sheppard, speaking on eagle radio, explained why the Surrey Drive programme was set up:
“We all sat down and watched the news unfold over the last few weeks and, seeing the pleas from some of the NHS staff over lack of produce on the [supermarket] shelves, felt we could step in and help…
“Over the course of a couple of hours we managed to assemble a group of experts who between us could deliver a huge volume of meals.”
The Surrey Drive team, working with the Royal Surrey NHS foundation trust, have set up a collection point at the hospital, allowing staff to collect meals to eat during breaktimes or to take home following their shifts.
Surrey Drive made its first delivery on Tuesday the 31st March and aims to deliver 1200 meals to staff at the Royal Surrey Hospital every week until the crisis is behind us.
Trust CEO Louise Stead explained; “We are extremely grateful and touched by the hard work and generosity of all those involved in the Surrey Drive Campaign, helping to keep our employees fed and healthy to fight another day on the frontline.
“People may not be able to offer the same skills as frontline staff, but by allowing them to keep healthy through supplying these nutritious meals, they are given the energy to save lives.?”
At the time of writing, Surrey Drive has raised over £10,300 with all funds going towards the costs of the ingredients needed to make the meals. But more is needed to keep the drive alive!
You can help too
Everyone involved with Surrey Drive would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the NHS staff working tirelessly hard to look after us during these troubling times. The Inside Outside team would also like to thank all of our wonderful events industry partners and colleagues who are selflessly donating their time and energy to ensure that Surrey Drive is a success.
And let’s not forget all of those who have donated money too. It’s amazing what we can do when we all pull together. If you haven’t done so already then why not make a donation and help Surrey Drive deliver its goal of keeping our amazing NHS teams fed?
Your donations really do make a difference
We’re doing all we can to try to make a small difference wherever possible. It’s great to know that even small gestures really do help. Here’s a message that we received from a member of frontline NHS staff. If you wonder what difference a simple, well made hot meal can truly make then have a read:
“…I’m a frontline worker at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. I was told to get a free meal today, I was given a Spag Bol which was made by yourselves.
“I’ve just finished a 12.5 hour shift and honestly this Spag Bol is literally amazing. I cannot thank you enough for your kind donation. I know it’s just a meal, but it was truly amazing and after a long day made my evening less stressful not having to cook.
Thank you so much, and from all my staff in EAU on the emergency floor”
Every little counts and even the smallest gesture really does help. If you can afford to then please visit our donations platform and donate whatever you can spare.
A thank you to our industry friends
Keep up the great work, you know who you are, but for those of us who don’t:
Surrey Events Professionals, Pesto food, Keeley’s Kitchen, Lavender Catering, Barbecue Chefs, Hermanos Taco Truck, The Tipsy Pigs, Hannah Sheppard Event Design, Delivered Social (tirelessly involved in promoting the Surrey Drive campaign!), Surrey Chambers of Commerce, Eagle Radio, Bentley Brown furniture hire, Grizly Bear Events, Surrey Hills Enterprises, Experience Guildford, Coordination Event Hire and Peachy Productions.
Events professionals are joining the team every day; apologies to those of you we haven’t been able to list here. Please feel free to share this article and let us all know who you are too!