NHSpresso? Free coffee for hospital’s pandemic heroes

Archway businesses provide funding for kiosk treats as a special ‘thank you’

Friday, 22nd April — By Anna Lamche

Elvis pop coffee Michael and Elvis (chemotherapy ward nurse)

Elvis, a chemotherapy ward nurse at the Whittington, gets a treat at Pop Coffee

A BUSINESS in Archway has treated NHS workers with a special “thank you” in recognition of the sacrifices they made throughout the pandemic.

Whittington Hospital staff have been on the receiving end of free hot chocolates, soup and teas for the past few weeks thanks to the Archway Town Centre Group (ATCG).

The group, which represents Archway’s business community, partnered with Mikhail Braunhofer, owner of the Pop Coffee kiosk by the hospital’s main entrance, to provide funding for 1,000 treats for passing staff.

Mr Braunhofer said of the initiative: “It was a thank-you for the last couple of years.

“Everyone has been really happy. I’ve been here nearly seven years, but I got to know even more of the [hospital] staff.”

Aside from the few months when lockdown restrictions forced Pop Coffee to close, Mr Braunhofer spent the majority of the pandemic onsite, watching doctors, nurses and other hospital workers come and go.

Jan Tucker of the Archway Town Centre Group

“I could visibly see how hard it was,” he said. “I think the nurses found it very tiring, it was very strenuous for them. They were incredible.”

Jan Tucker, chair of the ATCG, said: “It’s a sort of payback. We feel for the staff who had to do everything.”

She made special mention of the nurses who were “the ones sitting holding hands with patients – the nurses were on the front line, they would sit there with [the patients’] phone so they could talk to their family. I couldn’t have done what they did.”

But she said the ATCG wanted to thank all hospital staff. “One of the things that stuck out to me: you’ve got the nurses, the doctors and everybody else, but you also had the cleaners in there, all masked up and sweeping up – they were also vulnerable as well.”

She added: “I think the whole lot were amazing, they were wonderful – and they’re totally underpaid.

“I mean, to offer them a 1 per cent [pay rise], working round the clock like they did, with the hours they put in…

“They’ve worked through an awful, awful lot. This is just to say thank you.”

The ACTG also ran a giveaway with raffle prizes, including an Archway Market hamper of goodies, flowers from Fresh Flower Scent and free meals at many Archway restaurants, along with discounts from local shops.

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