On the Wednesday night before Easter, Sarah Macshane, LCE Consultant and Global Programmes, Social Impact & Partnerships was tasked with figuring out how we could donate LEGO® sets to frontline healthcare workers in the UK.

With all the COVID-19 restrictions in place due to the lockdown, she was sceptical: “It’s been made clear by the government that you should only go to hospitals if you are seriously ill, so why should we be allowed to donate LEGO sets?”

But within 24 hours, they were ready to launch and by Easter Sunday – only 4 days later – healthcare workers across the country started receiving sets that they could surprise their kids with.

Nurses with face masks holding LEGO toys

Against all odds

It all started when Sarah reached out to Fairy Bricks, our long-standing charity partner that works to donate LEGO sets to children in hospitals in the UK. The odds didn’t look good though since Fairy Bricks had been told to temporarily stop their donations.

Sarah: “Fairy Bricks’ initial response was that it would be really tricky, but they got in touch with their hospital contact anyway and we were in luck – hospitals had set up a big tent outside where they can receive donations and all deliveries are quarantined there for 1-2 days before they can go into the hospital. We realised that we could deliver them without Fairy Bricks going into the hospitals. That was a really lovely moment – knowing that it could actually happen.”

In 3 weeks, Fairy Bricks managed to deliver over 32,000 LEGO sets to 28 hospitals for NHS workers’ children across the UK.

“It was incredible to be contributing in such a positive way to people who are literally out there risking their lives to save others. I can’t imagine what it’s like as a child to know that your parents are out there putting themselves at risk. If, through this, I have managed to give children and parents even a little moment of distraction from the awful situation they are in with all the fatigue, stress and pressure that is on them, that makes me really happy. They are so deserving of anything extra we can give them.”

Anything is possible

​​​​​​​“One of the biggest learnings I’ve taken away from this is that anything is possible. I know that sounds a bit trite, but it’s true – I really thought that there is no way we can do this with all the restrictions in such a tight timeframe. But you can really make things happen when you come together. It was truly a team effort, particularly with the help of Alice Carter from the Corporate Brand Communications team. I’m always one to try to find solutions to any problem thrown at me, but this has encouraged me even more,” Sarah reflects.

And our support for our local community doesn’t stop at these donations.

“Fairy Bricks have had a huge reduction in their funding and they won’t be able to continue going to hospitals until things open up again, so we’ve also given them a £30,000 grant to ensure their survival as a charity.”

A woman sitting in home office