Hundreds of Cardiff hospital staff working through coronavirus pandemic get free meals

Volunteers are providing free food and drink to hundreds of staff working at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, through the coronavirus pandemic.

A hub set up at the Heath Sports and Social Club aims to give UHW staff somewhere close by to get a "healthy, nutritious meal" while on shift.

Almost £30,000 has been raised to supply workers with free meals provided by dozens of Cardiff cafes and restaurants. The organisers estimate demand for around 1000 lunches a day.

It comes ahead of a second nationwide clap to thank NHS workers on Thursday.

ITV will pause its programming just before 8pm to encourage people to join the applause and there will be an invitation for people to donate to NHS charities.

The volunteers served lunch to around 350 University Hospital of Wales staff on Wednesday.

Food places involved so far include Indian chain Juboraj, bakery The Early Bird and Lucinda's Kitchen, Michellin Star restaurant James Sommerin, Windsor Fruit Stores, and teahouse chain Waterloo Tea, whose founder started the fundraiser.

Measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus mean staff working on certain wards are unable to leave their stations easily once they start their shift.

Kasim Ali, Waterloo Tea founder, said: "On Monday we delivered 100 meals, on Tuesday we delivered 200 - they were gone within an hour.

"By Friday we'll get up to 800 or 900 meals per day. So it's been really well-received.

Lucinda Wilson of Lucinda's Kitchen baked brownies and cakes for staff at UHW Credit: Lucinda's Kitchen

Kasim said he wanted to make a contribution to the NHS staff "whom we rely so heavily."

"We're residents of Cardiff, we use the hospital, our kids have been born there, I was born there.

"Unfortunately it looks like a lot of us will be affected by the Covid pandemic over the coming weeks. So really it's what this sector of the community can do over the coming weeks to help NHS staff."

Hear more about the scheme in ITV Cymru Wales correspondent Richard Morgan's report:

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know