Last week, the UK clapped for the NHS and reports showed how moved NHS staff were by the show of appreciation. But what else are people doing to show their support? We looked at the companies doing what they can to help NHS staff as they continue to work throughout the lockdown. 

Free Car Parking & travel

The Littledown Centre has donated its car park directly opposite Royal Bournemouth Hospital for any staff who are able to drive to work but can’t normally get a space in the hospital grounds. 

Bournemouth & Poole College opened their North Road site car park to provide free car parking for NHS staff at Poole Hospital, after closing to students on 18 March. Principal Diane Grannell said: “We…made the easy decision to support NHS staff by providing free parking at our North Road site during this difficult time, to help them continue to do a phenomenal; job in caring for our local community.” 

NCP car parks are also free right now because of the lockdown. NHS staff don’t need to do anything to access the offer; just turn up and park! However, please bear in mind that lifts will not be operational during this time, and they can only accept card or mobile payments until further notice. For more information, visit the NCP car park website

Beryl Bikes, in collaboration with BCP Council, is offering free bay-to-bay rides up to 60 minutes a time for NHS staff. CEO of Beryl said: “We’ve taken the decision to make Beryl Bikes temporarily free for NHS staff in our operating areas, to help them get around and to say thanks for the important work they’re doing.” To access free rides, register a valid NHS email address with the app.

Halfords is offering free bicycle or car checks to NHS staff. The check, which normally costs £15, looks at 10 different areas of the car and includes a top-up of screen wash and tyre pressure if needed. To make sure your car is safe and roadworthy, sign up for your free check, and show your NHS ID to staff on arrival. 

Free or discounted food and drink

Waitrose is reserving supplies of essential but hard to find household and grocery items for NHS staff. To access these items, just flash your NHS ID to a member of staff, who can then supply the items you need. They are also running express checkouts for NHS staff so they can get to work as quickly and easily as possible.

All other main supermarkets are offering priority shopping hours for NHS staff. The hours vary from store to store so check with your local supermarket for details, and make sure you take your NHS staff ID with you. 

Meadowbook Produce confirmed last week they are offering a 20% discount for NHS staff, postal workers, social care workers, police and teaching staff, and they can provide a home delivery service. Email them for details of the products they can provide. 

Chicken & Blues in Winton is running a ‘Pay it Forward’ scheme, with co-operation from Elite Living, allowing people to buy a meal for NHS staff. Meals are normally £9 but if you buy a £5 meal through Elite Living’s website, Chicken and Blues will add up the free meals and make a weekly food delivery to NHS staff. They’ve cooked over 2,000 meals so far. 

Pizza Hut are offering a 50% discount on food for NHS staff. Simply call them with details of your ID or show it to them when you collect your meal. 

Costa has had to close all its main stores for the lockdown period. However, the smaller outlets remain in hospitals across the UK. They aren’t serving fresh coffee now, in a move to limit exposure risks for medical staff and Costa baristas, but they are handing out free cans of ready made coffee for NHS workers. 

Deliveroo announced yesterday that they’re planning to deliver 500,000 free meals to NHS staff around the country with the help of various food providers, including Pizza Hut and Itsu. Deliveries should be going out this week so keep your eyes peeled! 

Relaxation and Leisure 

Popular meditation app Headspace is providing free subscriptions to NHS staff to help them de-stress and relax during this time.

Last week AFC Bournemouth announced plans to offer an initiative for NHS staff. They haven’t yet made any further details available, but last week they were considering the option of offering free tickets to key workers. We will provide more information on this as it becomes available

Poole Speedway is providing free entry to all NHS staff as soon as events can begin again, and they are keeping the offer in place for the rest of 2020. Owner Matt Ford, said: “The country owes them all a massive debt and we at Poole Speedway want to recognise their marvellous efforts.” To access Poole Speedway for free, simply show your NHS ID at the door.


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