Sir Alexander Fleming in his lab at St Mary’s, 1920’s

M&S store at The Pantheon on Oxford Street, 1930’s

1928 was the year that Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin whilst working at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.

The 1928 Project was conceived to raise money to buy M&S Food gift cards for staff working at St Mary’s: doctors, nurses, cleaners, porters, pharmacists, maintenance teams, security, caterers and administrators. The team at St Mary’s will be able to use the M&S gift cards to purchase food and essential products (in addition to the food donations they receive from local businesses and long-standing partners like M&S). There are three major M&S Food stores within a few minutes’ walk of St Mary’s, as well as over 100 M&S Food stores throughout Greater London.

The thousands of people working for the NHS at St Mary’s are in the front line of the battle against COVID-19. As well as working tirelessly every day with COVID patients, these teams are also part of the effort to identify vaccines and effective testing to help roll back this pandemic.

St Mary’s is one of London’s largest teaching and research hospitals and one of London’s major trauma centres. In addition to fighting COVID-19, it continues to provide a wide range of acute and specialist care, including its busy A&E and maternity units, as well as via its cancer, cardiology, medical and surgery wards.

Our discussions with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial Health Charity highlighted a number of areas where The 1928 Project could provide additional support for staff wellbeing, including quality food for night staff, extra supplies of staff area provisions (such as tea and coffee) and improved rest areas. This project aims to support these wellbeing needs both now and in the future.

One of London’s largest teaching and research hospitals, now also in the front line battle against COVID-19

The 1928 Project is helping to bridge the support of local businesses, Paddington-based real estate developers, charitable foundations and private individuals to the teams working at St Mary’s

The 1928 Project was started by a number of Paddington-based businesses and property owners, working in conjunction with Marks & Spencer, whose office sits across the canal from St Mary’s Hospital. The importance of St Mary’s across the entire London hospital network, allied with the heroic work of the teams working there, has resulted in the supporter base widening to other corporate donors, major foundations and trusts, as well as individuals.

The 1928 Project aims to support the wellbeing of the staff at St Mary’s, by fulfilling an immediate need for the provision of high quality food options as they work tirelessly during the COVID-19 crisis and, in the medium to long term, to provide improved rest areas for both the front line teams and their supporting colleagues.

The provision of M&S Food gift cards at St Mary’s allows the staff to manage their own high quality food purchases on their own terms: what they want, when they want it, either during their working day, on the way back from work or on their days off.


Over 4,000 people work at St Mary’s Paddington across multiple specialist areas, including the fight against COVID-19
There are over 100 M&S Food stores within Greater London, including three within walking distance of St Mary’s Hospital

Donations will be received and administered by Imperial Health Charity, which supports St Mary’s and the four other London hospitals within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The 1928 Project is working with Imperial Health Charity to distribute M&S Food gift cards to St Mary’s hospital staff.

If this programme is well funded and well received by the NHS teams then it is envisaged that this fund-raising programme should be rolled out to the other four hospitals within Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust as quickly as possible.

Initial donations now exceed £650,000, with a target raise of over £1.50 million.


In addition, we wish to thank a number of private individuals who have generously donated and wish to remain anonymous.