The chief executive of BP has announced their chain of petrol stations will be offering free fuel for emergency services.

Bernard Looey, the chief executive officer of the company, took to Linkedin last night to announce the generous offer.

Live updates:

In a post, he wrote: "As the spread of COVID-19 continues, our natural instincts are to protect our families, our colleagues and our company.

“But in line with our purpose – we want to do more.

“I have been engaging with our business leaders across bp to see what more we can do to assist the communities where we live and work.

“Whether that be supporting governmental efforts – helping local charities – or reaching out to the people in our supply chains. We are extending a helping hand where we can.

“Today, March 19, here in the UK, we announced we will be providing free fuel at our retail sites for the emergency services – the women and men who we are all depending on to protect us during this time.

Read more:

“We are also looking to protect the elderly – in many ways the most vulnerable – by providing free delivery of food and convenience goods from many of our retail sites. And – of course – we will continue to ensure supplies of fuel and energy are uninterrupted.

“We will update you as we do more around the world.

“But rest assured we take our responsibility as a member of society seriously – and know we have a role to play. And we will.”

Andover Advertiser: Pictured: Chief executive Bernand Looney announced the measures last nightPictured: Chief executive Bernand Looney announced the measures last night

Mr Looney clarified the offer would apply to NHS emergency ambulance vehicles, NHS-trusted non-emergency vehicles, registered blood bikers as well as local police and fire authorities.

BP will be releasing more information shortly, and the Gazette will publish an update with the details are known in full. 

Mr Looney's announcement was shared hundreds of times across the networking platofrm and got hundreds of likes and comments. 

Clare Bebbington wrote: "You have no idea how much this means to someone trying to support an elderly patient in the ace of empty shelves and unavailability of online deliveries."

While Al Moore, a paramedic, wrote: "Thank you very much for your kind gesture. I am a volunteer paramedic in rural Norfolk and finance all running costs myself. A truly lovely act." 

Andover Advertiser:

While Gill Scott-Moore wrote: "Thank you. As a charity working specifically with the police service in the UK, we know how much this will be appreciated.

"Too often they are undermined, undervalued and ridiculed. Outstanding leadership and something I hope others will follow."

GAZETTE CAMPAIGN: Frontline Thank You Fund for NHS workers

A message from the Basingstoke Gazette 

In just a few short weeks, Covid-19 has brought the country to its knees.

Now more than ever we are reliant on our doctors and nurses in our NHS hospitals. These guardians of the community are serving on the frontline under impossible pressure to save lives.

While the majority of the population are confined to their homes, these heroes are forsaking their own health and wellbeing and putting people like you and I first.

We think it is time for us to say, "THANK YOU".

The Basingstoke Gazette and Andover Advertiser is joining together to raise money for hospital workers at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Andover War Memorial Hospital.

Andover Advertiser:

Donations will be given directly to the secretary of the worker's union, Unison to be passed onto hospital staff as they see best, whether it's small grants or gifts, social events, equipment or emotional support and counselling.

At this time of hardship, it is important for us, the community, to bring some joy and happiness to those who are giving us so much.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Visit the fundraising page here: 

How to get involved: 

Tell us what the frontline staff mean to you. Email 

Join our campaign: 

Share the fundraising link and tweet: #FrontlineThankYouFund 

Send us a picture of you holding up a piece of paper reading #FrontlineThankYouFund and we will print it in next week's paper.