ESSEX cricket stars swapped the crease for the kitchen as they helped to prepare more than 1,000 hot meals for NHS staff in 13 hospitals across Essex and London.

Club captain Tom Westley was joined by Simon Harmer, Shane Snater and Rishi Patel as well as academy players Robin Das and Eshan Kally to cook and package meals for NHS staff working long hours in the intensive care units, as well as elderly and vulnerable people in the community.

And Westley was happy to be able to play a part.

“It’s really important that we go into the local community and help where it’s both safe and possible," said Westley.

"The key workers on the frontline have been doing an amazing job, so if we can support them in any way, we will.

“One of the special things about Essex is we are a really community-based Club.

"As well as this trip today, we’ve been calling up members and checking they’re OK and just trying to engage and give back.

“We can’t begin to imagine how tough this period has been for key workers.

"It’s been described in the media as a ‘war’ and they are the people on the frontline doing it day in day out. They are an inspiration.”

Supporting Humanity have joined forces with local businesses and restaurants to provide at least 1,000 hot meals to key workers for the next 30 days.

In their first three days of operating, they’ve managed to provide 3,500 meals and bring the cost of every portion down to just £1.

Supporting Humanity are also on the look out for more volunteers.

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