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London, England, 14 April, 2020 - Owner of Blue Orchid Hotels, Tony Matharu, creates an impactful collaborative initiative to benefit key workers and London’s community in response to the COVID-19 crisis
Some four weeks ago, in immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneur, hotelier and philanthropist, Tony Matharu, opened his hotels to NHS service providers, key workers, local authorities, specialist COVID-19 contractors, those in search of supported self-isolation, together with foreign nationals left stranded due to travel restrictions to support their accommodation needs, despite the common trend to close businesses.
To date, Blue Orchid Hotels has provided over 4,500 room nights of safe and independent living accommodation and over 27,000 meals to those in need.
Recognising the power of collaboration and partnerships, Tony, only a few days later, created Here To Help London to assist key workers and the wider community during the COVID-19 pandemic though a collaborative partnership service.
Determined by the London community, Here to Help London support services adapt as demand and as government advice changes, from food delivery to online courses, virtual debates or just someone to talk to. Partners already on board include the Samaritans, Westminster City Council, JUNIUS, Academy of Ideas, Cento Alla Torre, Signature Brew, Optimiser, Stay Home for a While, Square Mile Food Bank and various London Business Improvement Districts to name a few, and continues to grow rapidly, enabling a continuous increase in the range and number of services available.
All operational costs of Here to Help London are entirely borne by the generous sponsors: Blue Orchid Hotels, Integrity International Group, Global Hospitality Services and Handsfree Group.
Services are either free or at the costs determined by partners with an optional £2 suggested donation added to chargeable items. Such donations are 100% ring fenced for COVID-19 key worker support.
Here to Help London has already assisted London’s community, including those in self-isolation and the homeless, as well as key COVID-19 workers in the following ways:
More recently, on recognising the burgeoning need for specialist PPE supplies for COVID-19 key workers, Here to Help London formed a partnership with Augment Bionics, a tech-start up of alumni and students from Latymer Upper School, to distribute face-shields to NHS key workers across London hospitals, as well as GP practices.
The partnership comes only a few days after the BMA announced that PPE supplies in London for NHS staff are dangerously low.
Here to Help London, with their electric vehicles donated by Handsfree Group, collected and delivered face-visors to a GP practice in London on Easter Monday and continue to roll out deliveries to London hospitals.
Currently, the face-shields are being 3D printed at a rate of approximately 100-150 per day, but with the support of Here to Help London there is the potential to increase this to 1,500 per day.
It is of paramount importance to Tony and Here to Help London to ensure this vital equipment is made available to those saving lives on the front line.
Reflecting on the progress of the Here to Help London, Tony stated: “Some four weeks ago, although it seems much longer, and mindful of government advice and directions, I resolved to do whatever I could to assist the London community and specifically London’s essential workers. The Here to Help London initiative has only been possible because of the passionate and community focused volunteers and partners, to whom I extend my sincere thanks, and those others of my team who have enabled the idea to germinate, develop and respond as the coronavirus challenges have evolved.”
Tony Matharu is renowned for the principle, “if you can help, you should help”, and this initiative, along with the support seen by Blue Orchid Hotels in these unprecedented times, is certainly in keeping with his established record of helping in a crisis.
Find out more at heretohelplondon.com
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