Meet the London family channelling their grief to help fight Covid-19

The latest installment of our Brave New World series shares the story of a family that have grown closer than ever delivering care packages

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The Landesberg family
Meet the Landesbergs

Say hello to the Landesberg family from north London. Two weeks ago, they lost their beloved grandfather after years of illness. But rather than be consumed by their grief, they have channeled their energy into a project of positivity to carry them through these uncertain days. 

As news of the spread of Covid-19 emerged, they had to close their various businesses, and used the time to start putting plans in place to help the most vulnerable people in their local community. This not only includes the immune suppressed, the elderly and those with disabilities, but also single parents and the NHS staff on the front line that are putting themselves at risk every day in hospitals throughout London. 

Just one week ago, they started the Corona Care Challenge and started delivering care packages across the capital. To date, they have raised more than £32,000 and helped more than 200 people in just four days. Today, they begin their hot food drops, delivering 1,500 meals to NHS staff across London. 

Here, they each tell their story and how they became involved in this incredible project. 

Jamie Landesberg

Family is everything to us, and we have the great fortune of being a strong unit together. We spent a lot of time together last week grieving the death of our beloved grandpa, and it was during this time that Covid-19 became a national crisis in the UK. Our papa was the patriarch of our family and always taught us the right morals and values to have as human beings; we all just knew that we had to step up together to help those who were really in need. 

Jamie Landesberg

As a family, we are incredibly resourceful, and all have a long history in being involved with charitable work. This background was massively helpful as it enabled us to act swiftly. We set up the funding page and ordered in tonnes of supplies incredibly quickly. 

But what has been completely overwhelming is the response that we have had in such a short space of time. While out doing deliveries for people over the weekend, I felt completely overrun with emotion; I couldn’t help but feel incredibly proud of what my family and our supporters were doing. It was truly humbling.   

It only inspired me to do more. I am the co-founder of JAB, a boxing studio in Mayfair, and I’ve now also enlisted the help of my business partner George. While the gym is closed, George is leading daily live streams of workouts online and as a business, we are donating £1 to the Corona Care Challenge for every person who joins us online to workout and keep fit while stuck indoors.  

I have said to many people that I feel Covid-19 is our generation's greatest war and we couldn’t be more ready to step up to the plate to serve our community in the best way we can.

 Samantha Shaer

I used to think that as families go, we were just like any normal family. That was until two weeks ago when we lost our grandfather. In the aftermath of his death, I noticed a unique and special gift that we all have in common; we are givers, we are carers, we are doers and we make things happen. That’s how the Corona Care Challenge all began. 

Samantha (left) and Candy (right)

For our family, this challenge is all about making sure that those in isolation, for whatever reason, don’t go without the bare essentials that they so desperately need to get through this tough time. We’re mindful that it doesn’t matter how much money you do or don’t have, how old or young you are, it’s a challenge for everyone. 

Over the past few days, we have begun working with the NHS, who I personally have huge faith in. The work that they do even in good times is amazing, let alone the continuous hours they are putting in during Covid-19. Every day we are dropping off packages in support of these amazing men and women and we will continue to do so for as long as we can.

Kelly Landesberg 

I have never felt so many mixed emotions in the space of two short weeks. After losing Papa, I really thought that I would struggle, but what we are doing as a family through this horrible and uncertain time has brought a lot of positivity and happiness – not only to our family, but also to those who are in desperate need of help, whether it’s the elderly, the vulnerable, or the incredible teams at the NHS and other hospitals around London. 

Kelly Landesberg (right)

The passing of Papa inspired me to think of all the people who fought for us as a nation, and for our freedom over the last hundred years on the front line. Being a part of the younger generation, I knew I wanted to do something that would make them proud. This is our version of fighting on the front line for our nation, for those that cannot defend themselves. 

I run a restaurant and to assist with the Corona Care Challenge, I have enlisted the help of my team at A.O.K Kitchen while it is closed to diners. We have been working tirelessly with Head Chef Kostas to prepare 1,500-1,800 fresh hot meals a day to give to the workers of the NHS; heartwarming meals such as shepherd’s pie, lasagne and veggie pies. Kostas has also reached out to a number of other chefs to begin doing the same from their kitchens. 

The most important thing we can do right now is show love, kindness and support to those in desperate need and I just hope we can help as many people as we possibly can.

Emma Miller 

The past two weeks have been the biggest roller coaster. As a family we always have been close, but now we have become the tightest unit and we feel unbreakable. In the hurricane storm of a world that we find ourselves living in today, we are working tirelessly to ensure we can spread some good. 

Emma Miller

Delivering care packages to those who are isolated or simply cannot source the things they need has given us a new purpose amid our grief. You just can’t beat receiving an email or a message of thanks. It puts a big smile on all our faces and we feel immensely humble and proud that we are making a difference.

Candy Landesberg 

Since we started the Corona Care Challenge just one week ago, we have been overwhelmed by the immediate response that we have had. We are all doing the best that we can to ensure that food and essentials are delivered to anyone that needs help, as well as to the incredible NHS staff who are working so tirelessly. I am so proud of all my family, they are doing the most wonderful job. The generosity of the people supporting us has been absolutely incredible, so we just want to say a huge thank you to them all! 

The Landesberg family

To find out more about how you can help or to donate, visit: gofundme.com/f/corona-care-challenge

Have you noticed your own local initiatives with small businesses doing innovative, creative and kind things to adapt? Share your stories below or email [email protected] with pictures.

Read more: Welcome to a Brave New World: Heartwarming ways hotels, pubs and more are helping their communities