Over the last few weeks, we have been doing our best to keep local NHS services well-caffeinated. Given the circumstances they find themselves in, a good cup of coffee is the very least we can do for them.
Back in March, before we entered lockdown, we pledged to give free coffee to NHS staff, from our two shops in Middlesbrough. With the support of Drew Rowley of React Nutrition, we had the equivalent of 500 coffees behind the bars.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to give all of these coffees away before we closed our shops, so we quickly looked towards the next way we could help. We knew that the staff at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital were in need of as much help as possible; fortunately, we were in a position to help. We donated a grinder and brewer, and a selection of coffees, so that staff could find some respite with a decent brew.
The next step for us was to make a plan and to see how far afield we could help. In the meantime, another care package made its way to the Friary Community Hospital in Richmond.
We reached out to Falcon Coffees, who are responsible for the sourcing and importing of the majority of the coffees that we roast. Falcon’s Mike Riley, a long-time friend of Rounton Coffee, suggested that we could put together a blend for the NHS, comprised of green coffee donated by Falcon.
The components of the blend were familiar to us: 2 bags from Pedro Gabarra Teixiera (the man behind our Brazilian coffees) and 2 from Mustefa Abakeno (whose natural lot has been the best Ethiopian we’ve had in a long time). Falcon’s generous donation means that we can now roast enough to make around 20,000 cups of coffee, right on the NHS front line. There was only one choice for the name – Nightingale Coffee.
Now we have the task ahead of us of roasting, grinding and sending out as much Nightingale Coffee out as we possibly can. It’s a challenge well worth having. We’ll be sending it out to local NHS sites like Northallerton’s Friarage Hospital, as well as places like Harrogate’s Nightingale Hospital.
We are a relatively small team, who will always try to do more than we can physically manage, but that won’t stop us from trying!
We are currently making a plan of how to tackle the logistics of our new mission. If you can think of any NHS sites that would appreciate some Nightingale Coffee, we’d love to hear from you. Likewise, if you think you might be able to help provide some insight or help in further supporting the NHS, let us know.
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