We created Bedside Kosher as a way to support people in our community. But one of the most delightful things I’ve learned on our charity journey is that actually, this support is a two-way street. Because we couldn’t have travelled as far as we have without the enormous support the community has shown us. At every opportunity, people have stepped up, offering their time, money and skills to support our efforts.
At the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, we had more than a hundred volunteers working side by side with us, making sure we could meet the enormous demand for our meals. During a time when people across society were facing unprecedented struggles, it was humbling to see so many people eager to turn their attention to those in need. It was inspiring, to say the least. And it made so much difference to the people who needed us the most.
Fast forward a year, to when we opened our Golders Green hub back in March, and again we saw a surge in volunteers. Their dedication and willingness to give so much back meant we were suddenly able to reach patients in North West London at a much faster rate. Right now, I can count on well over 400 volunteers to help me cover 50+ hospitals in 56 areas. And it makes me feel very humble.
Add to that the thousands of people who have donated to our fundraisers, the businesses who have donated their resources and skills to help us keep the phone lines open, and all those who spread the word. Thousands of hospital patients are better off thanks to their support. It’s no exaggeration to say lives have been saved.
More than meals
One of the things that inspires the Bedside Kosher team is our philosophy that we’re delivering more than just nutrition. At a time when visits from relatives and loved ones are restricted, and patients are more isolated than ever before, we are delivering happier times. We are bringing in a taste of home, a reminder that someone cares about their comfort and recovery. And hopefully we’re managing to deliver a few smiles here and there too.
Our kosher meals are just the start of that. Over time, our volunteers have also become advocates for those Jewish patients who need someone to speak for them. We’ve also provided training to those medical staff who care for Jewish patients, to ensure they know how to serve and present kosher food, and provide culturally appropriate care.
I consider myself lucky to work with so many amazing volunteers. And when I see our people going above and beyond the call of duty to deliver compassion to those in need, it reminds me why we do what we do. After all, the more positive relationships we can build in our community, the stronger we will be.
Inspired by the work Bedside Kosher’s volunteers do for Jewish patients? Why not sponsor a meal?