As we all get ready to #clapforcarers and show our support for the NHS once more, we wanted to shine a light on a brilliant community initiative. And the individual behind it. Red Green Cards is something we’re involved with and we’ve spoken about previously. We printed free of charge 100k of the red and green cards that give the initiative it’s name because we believe it’s playing an important role in the lives of the elderly and vulnerable, and bringing communities together right when that togetherness is needed most.

Dr. Shilen Patel, who’s already playing a vital and tireless role combatting Covid-19 in his ‘day job’, is devoting even more of his time to the fight as the driving force behind Red Green Cards.

We asked him if he’d answer a few questions for us so you could learn more about both himself and the wonderful work he’s doing with the project.

Here’s what he had to say in a short Q&A:

Q. Can you share with us what your ‘normal’ job is?

Hi I’m Shilen, I’m a head and neck surgeon and junior doctor.

Q. What does that involve?

Treating people with oral and facial cancer.

Q. What’s the most rewarding aspect of the job?

It’s humbling to be able to help patients when they’re suffering with devastating cancers and seeing them get better.

Q. How have things changed since the Coronavirus pandemic?

With the current crisis, I’m needed more in ITU (Intensive Care Unit) and now work in ITU looking after patients on ventilators.

Q. What made you start Red Green Cards?

Since government announced 12 weeks of isolation for medically vulnerable and elderly, I realised many people like my patients would, out of desperation, go to the shops and put themselves at risk to the virus. The best way to look out for them would be by creating an initiative to allow neighbours to help people on their own street.

Q. And what’s the response to Red Green Cards been like so far?

It’s been incredible, we’ve safeguarded over 300,000 homes with the help of amazing volunteers and generous businesses like KNP Litho. And it’s gaining momentum. Last week we welcomed working with Age UK and Samaritans.

Q. What are the numbers of volunteers like?

We’ve had hundreds of amazing volunteers across the U.K!

Q. How can people get involved?

You can register at to volunteer or help by donating to the cause.

Q. What else could be done to help?

During these difficult times please continue to be kind and generous!

Q. Last question, how do you find the energy?

Meeting amazing volunteers and safeguarding the vulnerable and elderly has fuelled my need to do more.

Spreading the word.

We want more people to know what Red Green Cards is doing and to really get behind it. So please share this post and head on over to their website. And if you can, register yourself as a volunteer. Or visit their social channels to follow, share and support all the work being done:

Twitter: @patelshilen

Instagram: shilenpatel1382


Thank you.  Stay safe, Stay, home, save lives.