AIREDALE Hospital bosses have said a massive ‘thank you’ to the community after an overwhelming response to an appeal for items to help staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

A staggering 7,000-plus items – including drinks, snacks, hand cream and disposable wipes – were donated in the first fortnight, and more are arriving every day.

Individuals, businesses and charitable and voluntary organisations have all contributed.

Monetary donations are also being made, at Any funds remaining when the crisis is over will be used to continue to support Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and repay the kindness of communities.

Donations co-ordinator, Jodie Hearnshaw, said the scale of the public response to the appeal was “difficult to take in”.

She added: “People started out by making donations of sweets and treats to keep our staff fuelled-up during the long days and night shifts they are putting in – now we are seeing vans, cars and in some cases lorries arriving day after day with the things we need.

“Every time the phone rings, it’s someone making an offer on behalf of their business or their organisation, or a local person with a brilliant idea for how they can help. People are so generous and so concerned about our staff, it’s quite humbling.”

The trust’s chief executive, Brendan Brown, said: “Now more than ever we are aware that the hospital sits at the heart of our community. The range of people and organisations who have got involved in supporting us is staggering – they are giving so much to help us and we are truly grateful.

“We know that life is going to be very difficult over the coming weeks as the situation reaches its peak, but we are prepared and with everyone’s help we will get through it.”