With the current COVID 19 outbreak, Hootan Ahmadi, a former NHS doctor teams up with Mark Mckenna, to supply protective face masks for front line NHS workers. Every day, doctors and nurses go beyond the call of duty to protect life and help the victims of this merciless pandemic which brought the world to a halt. In constant contact with his former colleagues, he had heard first hand stories of people becoming ill or dying, especially front line health workers. Hootan became increasingly worried about his friends, doctors and nurses working in the NHS frontline.
Hootan Ahmadi, a former NHS surgeon has teamed up with Mark Mckenna, founder of First Point Distribution, a large London based sourcing and fulfilment company to source and distribute FPP3 face masks and essential equipment for front line NHS staff, who are fighting #COVID19 outbreak.
On discussion with Mark, they were able to utilise his contacts and source essential masks for NHS staff.
They have set up a JustGiving to raise funds, aiming to donate as many masks as possible. We reached out to
Dr Hootan Ahmadi BSc (Hons) MBBS (Hons) MRCS Emg to find out more about Protect our NHS initiative.
Tell us about your career from the beginning to what you’re doing today.
I own a sports management company, essentially, I am a football agent, dealing in football transfers. I have other business interests but I always found my own happiness by helping others.
I trained as a doctor, and subsequently as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I left in 2010 because of personal family reasons. During my training I worked in various night clubs to pay for my training. In 2013 I opened Libertine night club, previously Chinawhite. I sold my shares in 2015 to pursue a career in sports management.
When did you start your philanthropic projects?
Like most people, I have always donated to various causes. Helping others, giving, in general, makes me happy.
Apart from contributing to a happier society for everyone, giving helps us connect with total strangers and at the same time, discover our own strength as individuals, our own ability to create a stronger community. I think we are all born with a philanthropic heart. Personally I became a philanthropist back in 2015, when I set up the collective sports foundation, helping under privileged children excel in sports as well as education.
Three years ago I had an idea to pack and distribute backpacks for homeless who were struggling while living on London’s streets…
I wanted to help them but I didn’t know how. Nobody teaches how to give! After some research, I ordered 50 essential items through channels like Amazon and distributed them with friends and family to London’s homeless.
The second year, Mark McKenna became a trustee and with his help in sourcing and procurement we were able to scale up to 200 and subsequently 350 backpacks the following year. I fundamentally believe that we all have a moral obligation to help others, in any way we can.
Can you share with us the most harrowing story so far that you have experienced through this corona virus pandemic?
I don’t have any personal experience though I have heard of a lot of first line NHS workers dying because of the exposure to high viral loads. A lot of my friends who I went to university with are at the front line of the fight against Covid19 and so I feel an urge to help them by providing new face masks and protective equipment for them.
Why are you helping nurses?
It’s not just the nurses, doctors and all NHS healthcare workers. They work tirelessly, shift hours and have a thankless task. Anything I can do to help is not enough.
Health workers are the most vulnerable to COVID 19 yet they continually risk their lives in order to save ours and yours. Giving them access to protective equipment is vital not only to them but all of us.
With the help of First Point Distribution, we are aiming to provide our NHS staff with protective equipment, in particular protective face masks. Just to give you an example, your £100 donation will supply 50 front line NHS health workers who could protect themselves wearing a face masks.
Were you working as a doctor helping Covid19 patients when the outbreak started in the UK?
No, I haven’t practiced medicine for over 10 years now, and this is why I am supporting the NHS heroes who are helping the victims of Covid19.
What are the top 3 tips you suggest to any trying keep safe and healthy during these difficult times ?
We can all help NHS fighting Covid19 outbreak by staying at home. Social distancing, and by that I mean stay away from people, no cheating! Wash hands! Keep mentally and physically active at home.
Why are our UK NHS workers not getting the equipment they need?
I’m not sure. A lot of them have been told they should only wear masks in suspected cases but the whole issue is that you don’t know who is and who is not a carrier, so everyone should be wearing masks. Its probably due to lack of resources which is understandable.
If I want to donate more than medical masks to the NHS and nurses how can I donate?
At the moment we are sourcing masks but we have let doctors and other healthcare workers know that we can try to source whatever protective equipment they need. Here is the link for Protect our NHS donations
What do you recommend people donate?
As much or as little as they can afford, just imagine it was a member of your family who is an NHS worker treating others who are the victims of #Covid19 or a patient.
Can you give me information on how these things can be sent?
Wash your hands! Keep mentally and physically active at home. Wash your hands again! Keep mentally and physically active at home. Wash your hands again!
About the crowdfunding campaign and the organises
Protect our NHS is a NON PROFIT initiative, raising £50,000 to provide our NHS staff with protective equipment, in particular protective face masks. Both Hootan and Mark run successful businesses and they are philanthropists too. Trustees of Carepack UK , a charity distributing backpacks filled with essentials to the homeless, Hootan Ahmadi and Mark Mckenny, help some of London’s rough sleepers cope with the harsh winter conditions and now they launched Protect our NHS to help NHS workes receive new protective equipment.