I am an NHS employee and a Celtic supporter.
I’m not a front line NHS employee, and I haven’t been in the firing line during the COVID-19 outbreak, but I have been going to work in a hospital every day and it’s been challenging in some ways, although I am thankful that I have a job and it was never at risk.
I am based at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, which sits beside Gartnavel General Hospital.
An amazing thing has been going on largely under the radar here.
It hasn’t been advertised anywhere that I’ve seen, and it hasn’t been talked about outside the local area, but this thing has shown me the best of people during this difficult time.
The GWR restaurant at the entrance to Gartnavel General has been open almost since day one of lockdown, providing free hot food to NHS staff, prepared by volunteers and provided by donations from a number of places.
Initially this food was available to NHS staff because all of the normal outlets available to purchase food were closed.
Gartnavel isn’t quite close enough to the west end or Anniesland to allow staff to venture out for a hot lunch.
After a few short weeks, they started advertising that the food was free to other key workers such as bus drivers, supermarket staff, elderly and vulnerable people, or anyone who was passing and fancied popping in and dropping a donation into the bucket. Soon other donations of food items such as bread, soft drinks, crisps, sandwiches started appearing.
It reminded me of Field of Dreams – ‘If you build it, they will come’ – the food was appearing in huge amounts.
I took advantage of this treat a few times, and the food was a credit to them, pizza, pasta, soup, all really nice stuff!
You’re probably wondering by now what this has to do with Celtic.
The answer is that the Celtic Foundation recently made a large donation to the cause, and now there is a van outside the restaurant, offering an even bigger selection of hot and cold food to NHS staff for free, or anyone else who wants to pay for breakfast or lunch.
I think that the service moved outside the restaurant to allow them to get ready to re-open to paying customers as lockdown is eased later this month. I, for one, will be delighted to go back to GWR as a paying customer again once this is over, and they richly deserve the business.
Little things like this might not appear much … they go largely unheralded.
But believe me, they make a huge difference … and this has,
The Foundation have done the NHS, key workers and vulnerable people proud during this time.
Well done GWR, well done to all the volunteers and well done Celtic.
You all did a good thing for a lot of people.
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