NHS Thursday Nikitta Jones and Nikos Minadakis (1)

DPD’s ‘NHS Thursday’ initiative has gathered momentum, with the parcel firm gearing up to deliver more than 60,000 donated items to hospitals thanks to the generosity of its staff.

The idea, prompted by staff nurse Nikitta Jones writing an email to DPD chief executive Dwain McDonald earlier this month, sees an agreed list of items including cosmetics, personal hygiene and food supplies being transported to NHS hospitals nationwide.

Jones told McDonald that families of patients were unable to visit under current COVID-19 restrictions and so they weren’t receiving supplies and treats from home.

The palliative care nurse – whose partner Nikos is a DPD delivery driver – asked for a bag of supplies and within a week DPD staff had donated 30,000 items for the first NHS Thursday drop.

Now DPD vans are heading to hospitals around the country again with a further 30,000 donated products.

Jones said: “Nikos was telling me what DPD were doing to help the NHS with deliveries at this crucial time and as a frontline worker I know how important that is.

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“I thought it was worth a cheeky email, but I wasn't expecting the response I got.

“Thank you to everyone at DPD, it really will make a huge difference.”

DPD has been making thousands of additional deliveries to NHS hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacies, care homes and hospices in recent weeks.

McDonald said: “I’m really pleased we were able to do this for Nikitta and for the NHS teams around the country.

“I think everyone is united on this - we want to do all we can to help the NHS and we want them to know how much we appreciate what they are doing for us.

“We weren’t expecting this to become a nationwide initiative, but we have the infrastructure and a lot of great contacts at the NHS and when you combine that with a very generous bunch of people, incredible things can happen.”