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16 Apr, 2020 13:45

Abramovich & Chelsea to provide 78,000 free meals to NHS workers as UK battles Covid-19

Abramovich & Chelsea to provide 78,000 free meals to NHS workers as UK battles Covid-19

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will donate 78,000 free meals through the club to National Health Service (NHS) workers throughout hospitals in London and vulnerable areas in the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

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An initial 13,000 meals will be distributed free of charge over a period of six weeks to local hospitals including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, Charing Cross Hospital in Fulham and Hammersmith Hospital, all local to Chelsea's West London stadium.

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Russian billionaire Abramovich has been instrumental in initiatives to help NHS workers, having previously covered the cost for hospital staff completing long shifts to stay at the club's Millennium Stadium hotel at Stamford Bridge, rather than commute home.

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A club statement paid tribute to Abramovich's innovation; "We are and have always been committed to supporting our communities, especially the vulnerable, and at this time we recognise this is more important than ever," chairman Bruce Buck said in the statement, released Thursday.

"Our owner, Roman Abramovich, has been instrumental in challenging us to find ways to support those in need and after we successfully launched the Refuge campaign and made the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge available to the NHS, this was the priority so I am pleased to see it begin."

Other football clubs have done their bit to show their appreciation toward NHS workers battling the virus on the front line. On Wednesday Manchester United turned their Old Trafford Stadium blue, the colour of the NHS logo, and spelled out 'NHS' in the club's name.