A coronavirus-hit NHS trust based in Beckenham and Lewisham is pleading for donations of soap.

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), which specialises in mental health, called out to the public as supplies began to run low.

Many supermarkets, pharmacies and other shops have been stripped bare by panicked shoppers concerned about COVID-19.

On Twitter, a spokesperson for the Trust, which has units in Lewisham Hospital and Bethlem Hospital, said: "Can anyone help? We are in urgent need of single use soap sachets for our nurses and wondering if there are any organisations who might be able to help us out "Any help would be really appreciated."

The tweet, which has over two thousand shares, went viral with many supporters happy to pitch in and send soap to the trust.

One response said: "It is scandalous that the NHS has been reduced to begging for urgent (and vital) supplies.

"I'm disgusted and angry that it has come to this!"

Charlie Bosher, 41, paid around £30 to send 200 bars of soap to SLaM.

The senior consultant for a NHS survey provider said as soon as he saw the tweet, he wanted to help.

He said: "We're in a situation now where if you have the opportunity to help, you do it. It's really quite minor.

"If I can do it, and I see a lot of people are folllowing suit, they'll be able to get by with what people can donate.

"I think they were looking for an organisation to send them thousands, but that might not be able to happen at this point.

"Lots of people can do their little bit and pitch in to help in a time of crisis."

Charlie added: "I've been thinking I wish there was more I could do. I wish there was something I could help in some way.

"Lots of people want to help but we don't have the skills or the training. Doing this was an easy, quick win. It took me five minutes on Amazon."

As someone who works across many NHS trusts, Charlie said many hospitals are under "enormous pressure".

He said: "The NHS is under enormous pressure, particularly for front-line workers. I have friends and family who are working day and night to treat people.

"Many are being redeployed working in areas they might not be used to and working over and above the hours they are normally on shift to work for.

"It's a lot of working without breaks, going home exhausted. These people are all working over and above what they should be and encountering things they'd think they'd never see in their lifetimes.

"It's dealing with a crisis on a daily basis, witnessing the suffering and death on this scale. It's hideous."

Charlie added: "One of the smallest things we can do is just say thank you. It's about not stockpiling, and making sure there's food in the supermarkets for front-line workers.

"If a local NHS trust needs help, and you can do something, try and help as much as you can."