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Coronavirus: Grieving son shares fundraiser for Surrey NHS workers

3 minute read
Coronavirus: Grieving son shares fundraiser for Surrey NHS workers

Published by Grace Mcgachy at 11:20am 1st April 2020. (Updated at 11:27am 1st April 2020)

A grieving son has helped raise thousands for an online fundraiser for NHS workers. 

Ryan Belmont shared the GoFundMe link with friends after his father Derek Belmont of Englefield Green died on Saturday night having been diagnosed with coronavirus. 

The fundraiser has been set up by Jo-Ann Airikkala and Debi Peppin so they can buy and deliver essential food to the staff at St Peter's Hospital, and nearly £13,000 has been donated so far. 

Food for NHS Workers, Ashford & St Peters Hospital

Speaking to GoFundme, Ryan said he and his family are asking everyone to help the heroes on the frontline:

“The staff helping dad were some of the kindest, bravest and most hard working people I've come across.

"The pressure they face is relentless - acting as frontline medics in unprecedented circumstances while offering support to our family who were unable to get close to dad for his final moments given the nature of the virus. In many ways they were his surrogate family for those final days and we'll never be able to thank them enough.  

"He would have been deeply thankful to know that his friends and family rallied round for the NHS at this awful time.

"My family asks everyone to do all they can to help these heroes on the front line of fighting this horrendous virus  - make sure they're eating and please, stay at home."

Between Jo-Ann and Debi and a team of volunteers, they have delivered hundreds of bags of fresh fruit, vegetables,  pasta and bread to the hardworking staff at St Peter's Hospital. 

Food for NHS Workers, Ashford & St Peters Hospital
Food for NHS Workers, Ashford & St Peters Hospital
Food for NHS Workers, Ashford & St Peters Hospital

Jo-Ann said on the GoFundMe page they are so grateful for all the support: 

"Another 200 bags of fresh fruit, vegetables and pasta were delivered yesterday, 30th March. 100 to the Chertsey Ambulance Station (SECAmb), 50 to Aspen Ward at St Peter’s and another 50 to another ICU Ward.

"We cannot thank you enough for your generosity in supporting this cause as we have received so many messages of thanks and appreciation from the staff receiving these bags of nourishment at this difficult time.

"In particular, we would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you to Ryan Belmont and his family for supporting this cause in memory of his Dad."

You can support the Food for NHS Workers, Ashford and St Peter's Hospital fundraiser here.