THE Braintree community is coming together again to support the NHS heroes working on the frontline of the crisis.

A host of initiatives have been launched which are providing essential supplies such as food and drinks to nurses and doctors.

Great Bradfords FC says it has already dished out 34 food boxes to staff at Broomfield and Colchester hospitals after being inundated with donations from the public.

The club began collecting just a few weeks ago and says it has been overwhelmed by the response.

Club secretary Charlie Mills said: “The whole thing has just exploded. Within days a couple of us had our houses filled with donated food, drinks and toiletries.

“The response has just been insane and there are so many people getting behind this.

“The club has had quite a few members affected by Covid and we’ve even got people who are in hospital now battling it.

“So this feels like the very least we can do for the nurses and doctors who are risking everything to look after us.”

The club says it has a host of donation points set up around the district, including in Halstead, Sible Hedingham, Cressing and Silver End.

Mr Mills says bosses will continue the appeal throughout the lockdown and take donations to hospitals on a fortnightly basis.

He added: “We’re thinking about getting bits together for paramedics, call-handlers and care homes in Braintree because there are so many people working so hard at the moment.

“None of these people have time for a break so it’s important they’ve got food and drinks they can have on the move.”

Another initiative to help the NHS is also proving successful.

Co-ordinated by Teresa Andrews, Lorraine Clark and Nikki Argent, it has seen essential supplies delivered to staff at Braintree Community Hospital and those working in the ICU ward at Broomfield.

Organisers are also asking residents to leave their donations at dedicated drop-off points around the district.

Teresa said :”We have had a lot of donations and people are being very generous. We now also have two pubs on board collecting for us and Sainsbury’s and Morrisons are also helping.

"But we have not long started again so we need as much as we can.”