Journalist uses contacts to create a £1m good news story for frontline carers

Lauren Ezekiel's We C U project has already distributed more than 20,000 packages of beauty items to staff around the country


A former newspaper beauty editor has facilitated product donations of more than £1 million from major companies for care packages for frontline workers.

Since Lauren Ezekiel founded We C U in March, more than 20,000 packages of beauty items have been delivered, in the hope that recipients will “take five minutes for themselves”.

She highlighted the need for “hand creams and lip balms because frontline workers are wearing PPE”.

The Epping-based 36-year-old — who was beauty editor of the Sun’s Fabulous magazine — has been taken aback by the support from companies.

“At my last count, it was 305,000 products donated. The scale of it has been unbelievable.”

The contents of the bags have a retail value of up to £100 and Ms Ezekiel tries to ensure that all include a hand cream, a lip balm and an all-purpose moisturiser.

Deliveries from We C U’s Hainault warehouse are going out to well over 200 hospitals and care facilities around the country.

“I started by delivering some gloves to a maternity ward,” she recalled. Staff told her they were “desperate for hand cream”.

Hoping that she might be able to secure donations of excess stock from contacts, she emailed them “to see what I could get. By day two, I had 20,000 products. Within a week, I had 80,000.”

She has been “inundated” with offers of support from the Jewish community.

“We’re a giving, charitable community with very good intentions — that has really been showcased here. People want to help their own community but also the outside community too.”

We C U has sent packages to communal care homes and has also linked up with charities such as Gift and Camp Simcha.

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