VOLUNTEERS are urging residents to donate ‘power supplies’ to keep medical staff going at Colchester Hospital.

The Tiptree Volunteers group hope to help wards under pressure from Covid-19, with the first collection next Tuesday.

Long-life food items, which should be individually wrapped, can include cereal bars, instant noodles and packet soup.

A spokesman said: “Although these snacks may not be healthy, they are quick, convenient and will provide a quick sugar boost needed to carry on.

“Some staff will be grateful for a sports drink, others will appreciate a quick carton of juice on the go.

“In addition to this, some staff are known to shower during shifts if they can, so we will also happily take travel-size shower gels, hand creams and deodorants for staff if they do have time to freshen up.

“We will have one collection day each week for the next two weeks whereby items can be left outside your door.

“If you’re unable to get out and would like to donate to this appeal we will happily purchase items up to a value of your choice and provide you with an itemised receipt.”

A similar collection drive is expected for Broomfield Hospital. For details, contact the team’s Facebook group.