Tony Matharu

THE ‘Here to Help London’ charitable initiative is helping the key workers and the wider community during the COVID-19 pandemic in the city.

Created by entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Matharu, the collaborative partnership service has already provided over 3,500 room nights, and over 20,000 meals to the needy so far.

Here to Help London lends its helping hands to London’s key NHS service providers, key workers, local authority referrals, specialist COVID-19 contractors, those in search of supported self-isolation and foreign nationals who stranded due to travel restrictions.

“We found ourselves stranded in London. The Dominican Embassy sent us a letter from Blue Orchid Hotels. From the moment of the first telephone contact, we felt ‘at home’, and upon arrival to Tower Suites, we felt much relieved,” said Hinya De Peña and José Alejandro Álvarez, who were unable to return to their country.

“The facilities are impeccable, and the staff goes out of its way to provide warm and efficient service, even in these extreme circumstances.”

The venture, with a 24×7 helpline, provides safe and independent living accommodation, food provision and delivery, distributed soap, hand lotion and free eggs.

The other services are preparation of free pancakes for Easter to be delivered to central London hospitals, online tutorials and virtual debates, book delivery and online therapy and well-being support.

“Some three weeks ago, I resolved to do whatever I could to assist the London community and specifically London’s essential workers. To date, we have already provided over 3,500 room nights and over 20,000 meals to the needy. This initiative has only been possible because of the passionate and community focused volunteers and partners,” says Tony Matharu.

“London’s proven resilience, its unrivalled talent pool and public-spirited community enable it to overcome difficulties and challenges, as it has in the past, and I am confident it will continue to do so in the difficult times ahead.”

The initiative is co-sponsored by Handsfree Group, Blue Orchid Hotels, Integrity International Group and Global Hospitality Services. It is partnered with Samaritans, Westminster City Council, JUNIUS, Academy of Ideas, Cento Alla Torre, Signature Brew, Optimiser, Stay Home for a While, and various London Business Improvement Districts to name a few.