Companies offer help to NHS staff during coronavirus pandemic

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NHS workers are being offered free accommodation, drinks and discounted food as companies across the UK chip in to help during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Businesses including Pret and McDonald’s are offering free hot drinks, while hotels and even tour bus companies are offering places to stay.

Starsleeper explained that its buses are not in use due to cancelled gigs, meaning they are available for use by those in the healthcare industry.

In a statement, they said: “We have eight tour buses sat here in our yard near Nottingham doing nothing and perhaps we can offer our vehicles for use to local hospitals for staff to rest or sleep between their long shifts currently.”

As the music industry has ground to a halt and nothing will be happening in the next couple of months we hope we can be…

Posted by Starsleeper Ltd. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The former Manchester United duo own the Stock Exchange and Hotel Football in Manchester and will close both properties to the public from Sunday, giving access to 176 beds to medical staff.

“It is in this moment in time that I think the whole of our industry needs to show solidarity not just for our staff in these uncertain times, but for the people who need the accommodation most in the coming months,” Neville said in a video posted on Twitter.

On Wednesday morning, Pret announced on Twitter that hot drinks would be “on the house” for all employees with a valid NHS staff card, while discounts are being offered on food.

Pano Christou, Pret CEO, said: “The Pret family and the whole world are in uncharted territory, and it is important that we show solidarity and stand by each other in this difficult time.”

McDonald’s and Starbucks have also committed to giving free hot drinks to health workers and emergency services staff.

WHSmith said it would be doubling the NHS staff discount on food and drinks to 20% in all its hospital stores from Thursday.

Mr Christou said: “The teams on the frontline of the NHS are doing an extraordinary job and deserve all our support through this crisis.

“Hopefully this small step helps brighten their day.”

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