A BUSINESSMAN is calling on south Essex companies to donate a hamper to staff at Basildon Hospital.

Secret Hamper, set up by Nigel Richardson, allows people to send a hamper of essentials to friends or family.

Last year, Mr Richardson launched his NHS70 campaign, with the aim of delivering hampers to 70 hospitals across the country in celebration of the NHS’s 70th birthday.

He has already delivered hampers to Broomfield Hospital, in Chelmsford, and the Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary, but now has his eyes on Basildon Hospital.

Mr Richardson said: “The initial donation to Broomfield last year was a huge success, we knew we would have to keep going.

“This is basically our way of saying thank you to those NHS staff who will work behind the scenes of the hospital doors - behind every operation, drug administration and act of care is a human being.

“The ordeal they must go through all the time with the amount they have to do, they will obviously develop some connection to their patients.

“The strain on their mental health must be so great.

“When we went up to Newcastle in December and I was talking with various businesses, and shared some clips on social media, a lot of those who were local to Essex said they would have helped, but didn’t know about it, so I thought there would be some benefit in trying to push for Basildon.”

Secret Hamper, which is based near Maldon, has already had pledges from Maynard Heady accountants, based on Canvey, and Edmund Carr accountants, based in Chelmsford.

The aim is to get 70 hampers to various units in the hospital, and hopes he can expand to donate hampers to Southend Hospital and Harlow.

Mr Richardson added: “We really want to try and get the word out to let as many businesses know as possible that we want to do this.

“The thing that many get confused about is that we are a business not a charity, and this will simply be a one-off thank you to the hospital staff, it won’t be a campaign where I come knocking on people’s doors next year asking again.

“It’s a show of appreciation to those who give so much to help other people.”

A fundraising page has also been set up for individuals to donate funds for the cause.

To donate, click here.

Visit www.secrethamper.com/nhs-70.