Three Scottish friends who set out to raise £3,000 to provide pizza to frontline healthcare workers in Scotland during the COVID-19 outbreak have smashed their crowdfunding target by over £1,490.
Posting on the crowdfunder page when it launched last week, the trio wrote: “We want to show our support and provide a morale boost (in the form of pizza) to our brave healthcare workers on the frontline who are working tirelessly to help battle Coronavirus in Scotland.
“We are looking to start by delivering pizzas from independent restaurants on Friday night to three of the largest hospitals in Scotland and hopefully expand out from there.”
Mark Dickson, who launched the funding drive with friends Blair Bowman and Helen MacInnes, said they've since appeared on Good Morning Scotland, Heart FM and BBC Alba with their appeal.
"We've been overwhelmed by the response from both the public and suppliers as everyone just wants to do their bit to show their support for the NHS frontline," said Mark.
"The comments of support we are getting for our NHS staff are incredible and I think it is important they know how highly they are respected, loved and valued by the public.
"Independent pizza places such as Slices in Dundee are offering us over 50 per cent discounts while Pizza Nerds in Edinburgh is only opening up now to deliver to NHS staff. We've also had some very positive feedback from NHS staff themselves who have asked it to keep coming so we are keen to carry on doing this for as long as we can."
Mark explained they have discussed with their suppliers to ensure that all deliveries are small pizzas for one person and individually boxed so there is no issue with food sharing, adding that there are no contact drop-offs in the right places (green zones) in the hospitals where normal deliveries go.
Mark added: "While pizza deliveries are still allowed to operate we recognise we are working in a changing environment. In my former job as a humanitarian aid worker, I am familiar with working in challenging conditions.
"If restrictions tighten and prohibit us from continuing, the funds will still be there and we will look to deliver once again as soon as it is safe to do so. Whether it is now or later, they have more than deserved it."