Rosslyn Park Slingbacks have launched a campaign to get the rugby community to support the NHS heroes through this unprecedented time.
The London-based women’s rugby team are spearheading the #Rugby4NHS campaign, which aims to provide local NHS organisations with snacks and food hampers.
World Cup winner Marlie Packer and international duo Owen Farrell and Shane Williams have aided in spreading the initiative, with many others including Hull KR Ladies player CJ Adams-Richardson also retweeting the social campaign.
— Rosslyn Park Slingbacks 🔴⚪️ (@RP_Slingbacks) January 12, 2021
Speaking to England Rugby, Slingbacks captain Samantha Emery said. “I saw posts online saying how appreciative ward staff are of snacks and treats turning up when they are struggling to find time to eat. I thought we could try and give back to raise their spirits.”
The club’s brilliant scheme was last week’s Sunday Smile on TalkSPORT and the initiative has had support from other clubs, including Prenton Rugby Club.
“We’re encouraging other teams to donate to their local hospitals so this can go country-wide,” Samantha said. “Helping the NHS is the primary goal, but we have all been missing rugby so much, that it’s also a fantastic way to help rekindle the rugby family spirit”
The #Rugby4NHS hashtag can be used for sharing the posts and tagging local NHS groups who may be able to help logistically.
The campaign hasn’t specified a particular hospital or department and encourages people and clubs to choose their own cause. COVID-19 wards, ITU (Intensive Care Units) and A&E departments have been heavily affected by the pandemic.
The Slingbacks’ campaign also highlights the overlooked heroes, too. Porters, administrators and individuals who are struggling without a key family member, who is away as an NHS worker, are also key targets for the initiative.
Emery is keen to stress the importance of following COVID rules while helping. “Of course, it’s essential to follow all Government guidelines and to check in advance what help your hospital would welcome and how to deliver it,” she said. “While some accept direct delivery, others are coordinating via councils and we’ve even found one hospital with an Amazon Wishlist set up.”