NHS Charities Together is proud to have awarded London Ambulance Service £100,000 to stock Tea Trucks with refreshments to boost emergency crews. Tea Trucks travel to hospitals and control rooms across the capital each day to provide much-deserved wellbeing breaks for staff.

Crews are also getting ready to join the biggest outpouring of thanks for the NHS. Along with NHS staff, NHS charities, individuals and community groups throughout the UK, they will be hosting an NHS Big Tea to celebrate the NHS’s birthday on July 5th.

Antony Tiernan, London Ambulance Service Director of Communications & Engagement, said:

“We’re grateful to benefit from the NHS Charities Together funding. Generous donations have made it possible for us to stock our Tea Trucks with refreshments for ambulance staff and volunteers as they continue to work incredibly hard throughout this pandemic. It has been a particularly challenging year and we look forward to the NHS Big Tea as a chance to celebrate the efforts of our friends and colleagues across the NHS.”

Tea Trucks

Launched in February 2020, the Tea Trucks mean ambulance crews who respond directly from patient to patient with little to no break have a chance to pause for a hot drink and a snack. The trucks are driven and operated by staff who are currently unable to work in patient-facing roles and have been a lifeline for hard-working crews, especially at times when hospital cafes and high street cafes closed during peaks of the pandemic.

During a visit to Newham Ambulance Station in March, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met paramedic Shani Smith who explained how she uses her mental health training out on a truck to help stressed colleagues over a cup of tea. Shani said:

“It’s so much more than a cup of tea. The Tea Trucks are sometimes the only way crews can get refreshments during lockdown and they offer the chance to talk and unburden if you have been at stressful incidents. This is as important as ever in the past few months.”

Funding ambulance services

The £100,000 awarded to London Ambulance Services forms part of a £7million NHS Charities Together fund for ambulance services, to support Community First Responders (CFRs) and other volunteers, ease pressures on ambulance crews across the UK and support their wellbeing.

About the NHS Big Tea

Taking place on the NHS’s birthday on 5th July, NHS Charities Together is urging the public to join the UK’s biggest tea break and be part of a huge outpouring of thanks while raising money for the incredible people in the NHS who have been there for us over the last year.

Everyone can take part by raising a mug or holding their own virtual or physical tea party (following the latest social distancing guidance) at 3pm on that day or at any time that suits them on or around that date.

NHS Charities Together will use the funds raised through the NHS Big Tea to increase the practical and emotional support available to NHS staff, patients and volunteers are they continue to battle the Covid crisis and start down the long road to recovery.