Lomond – The Wholesale Co rallies to support Scotland’s frontline NHS staff

A MUSIC industry tour manager and a Glasgow-based food and drink wholesaler have joined forces to deliver food and drink to frontline NHS staff across Scotland as they work through the Covid-19 crisis.

Ben Pomphrett, whose partner is an intensive care nurse currently working at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, has launched the group Help Our NHS after reaching out to colleagues working in the music industry to support staff through these difficult and unprecedented times.

“Knowing the challenges facing NHS staff working in critical care units during normal times then hearing first-hand from my partner how things are now as they deal with the coronavirus, I thought that ensuring Scotland’s hardworking NHS staff get the food they need while they are caring for patients was a great way to show how much they are appreciated,” explained Ben.

“With my own industry wiped out for the next few months I wanted to put that time to good use.”

Glasgow-based Ben, who has worked with performers including Liam Gallagher, Primal Scream and Biffy Clyro, called Barbara Henderson, who owns and runs Lomond – The Wholesale Food Co, with her husband, Sam.

He said: “Critical care nurses are now in full PPE and can have limited time to prepare and eat on breaks, and often rely on snacks gifted by patients’ families but with those units now closed to visitors this is no longer happening.

“I called Barbara to ask if Lomond would be interested in helping and she said yes immediately.”

Lomond, which operates out of premises at Port Dundas, already has infrastructure in place for delivering to hospitals. Barbara said: “Like other businesses during the coronavirus crisis we’ve had to adapt as our traditional ‘foodservice’ deliveries to outlets such as restaurants, sandwich bars and cafes has dropped off dramatically.

“However, as we have not stopped delivering to hospitals, we’re absolutely delighted to help Ben with Help Our NHS as it’s such a fantastic idea and we’re so glad he contacted us.

“As well has helping provide snacks to frontline NHS staff, we are also looking to deliver healthy meal options for those working in critical care units and have been in touch with our suppliers to invite them to donate everything from crisps, juice and sweet treats to other products such as ready meals and snacks that can be popped in the microwave.”

Lomond, which also distributes product to convenience stores, has already donated the first product – 180 boxes of Loveheart Empire Biscuits – and will provide the “wheels” to deliver future food donations into 20 critical care units across Scotland.

Ben said: “It’s very early days but we’re really heartened by the response so far and hope food and drink suppliers get on board with it.”

Anyone wishing to donate food should contact helpournhs@gmail.com or via social media at facebook.com/helpingournhs and twitter.com/helpingournhs. Suppliers can also email Barbara Henderson: barbara@lomondfoods.co.uk

For further information contact: Ben Pomphrett on 07766 007 427