Sir Stelios says thank you to frontline Covid-19 heroes with a little gift

More than 4,750 Leonard Cheshire frontline carers providing vital support to disabled people this Easter will receive a thank you gift from the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation of Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou of a total value of £150,000.

The Leonard Cheshire ambassador, founder of EasyJet and the easy family of brands and philanthropist has donated to Leonard Cheshire the sum of £150,000 so that the monies will be directed to frontline staff in the form of a John Lewis and Waitrose gift voucher worth £30 for each staff member.

At this time of unprecedented health crisis for the UK, Sir Stelios wishes to demonstrate his admiration and support for the selfless commitment of frontline heroes in the charity’s residential services (120 Cheshire homes) caring for around 3,000 vulnerable people.

Since Monday 23 March 2020, access to the homes has been limited to staff and other essential visitors as part of the national lockdown.

While caring for residents who have shown symptoms of the potentially deadly virus, staff are also contending with a national shortage of personal protective equipment such as specialist masks. Leonard Cheshire has around 120 residential services across the UK and in unprecedented times for all, staff are caring for those who are unwell round the clock, as well as offering reassurance and stability to others. Many staff have covered additional shifts because of colleagues having to self-isolate. By providing essential services in communities across the UK, Leonard Cheshire staff are directly helping to protect the NHS, and are saving lives.

Sir Stelios said: “These are unprecedented times for everyone and I thought it would be a good time to say thank you in a more tangible way to the frontline heroes of this crisis who are putting themselves in harm’s way to help and care for the neediest. I have chosen the Leonard Cheshire charity to start my giving back to society as part of my overall pledge to give GBP1m for the virus crisis in the UK because I have known them for the last 14 years and they are doing a great job helping disabled people at all levels of society.”

Neil Heslop OBE, CEO of Leonard Cheshire, said: “This is a hugely generous gesture and typical of the long-standing support from Sir Stelios’s Foundation for the charity. Normally this time of the year we would be launching our joint awards for disabled entrepreneurs which we understand may have to be postponed this year. Our frontline staff are doing amazing work under immense pressure, and we are doing everything we can to support them. This direct expression of appreciation and support at a time of greatest need for our frontline staff means a great deal to everyone.” 

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