Celebrity chef Raymond Blanc has given his backing to Oxford Health Cares appeal by offering staff the chance to win an overnight stay at his luxury Oxfordshire hotel and dinner in his two Michelin-starred restaurant.

Raymond, chef patron of the luxury 15th century Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons at Great Milton, sent a personal message to Oxford Health. He said: “We are truly appreciative of the efforts and challenge this virus has put upon the teams across the Trust and are delighted to be able to give the worthy winner a chance to be spoilt by us. We look forward to welcoming you soon”.

The hotel stay is just one of several on offer in a prize draw for staff being organised by the Oxford Health Cares – an Oxford Health Charity campaign designed specifically to support our dedicated workforce during COVID-19 crisis.

The Oxford Health Cares team have been providing care packs and morale boosting treats and has received more than £3,000 in donations plus a host of other items including drinks, savoury treats and sweets, plus hand and face creams to help staff counter the dehydrating effects of wearing PPE.

Trust Governor Vicky Drew, who works with the trust as a Learning Development Lead, has championed the prize draw and made it her mission to contact a range of venues to ask for their support.

She received a fantastic response from Hartwell House Hotel Restaurant and Spa – a  stately home set in 90 acres of Bucks countryside just outside of Aylesbury; The Crazy Bear at Stadhampton, Voco Oxford Thames, Voco Oxford Spires and The Oxford Hotel in Witney.

Vicky said: “Everyone is working extremely hard, putting in a tremendous amount of effort to support our communities.

“As a small token to say thank you, I reached out to local businesses to show their support of our staff. Oxford Health Charity has been overwhelmed with the generosity of others and the Oxford Health Cares group is extremely thankful to the hotels who made donations for staff. I hope the winners enjoy these well-earned prizes!”

Kerry Rogers, Director of Corporate Affairs, said “These donations of hotel stays and meals are a symbol of the respect our NHS heroes deserve and we are very thankful to those organisations who have been able to support our appeal. We know not everyone can win but hope this and our other charitable projects continue to make staff smile even when times are hard. Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Oxford Health Cares appeal, however big or small it is greatly appreciated.”