NHS Charities Together has announced that it has reached the amazing milestone of £100 million raised through its COVID-19 appeal in just 6 weeks. The funds have come from members of the public, as well as a whole host of corporate and private donations. The charity has already distributed £20 million to its member charities across the entire UK that have been working to support NHS staff, volunteers and their patients through the COVID-19 appeal.
Fundraising has come in a host of shapes and sizes. Captain Tom Moore caught the hearts of the entire country and managed to raise a staggering £30 million by walking laps of his garden. Other separate initiatives including fun runs, the creation of a host of charity singles, virtual quizzes, and the streaming of films and plays. Corporate donors have also played a big part from across sectors including retail, sport and finance.
But the work is not done yet. The charity is keeping the appeal live, with the hopes of raising even more funds to support recovery after this first phase of the pandemic is over. The funds will be used by local NHS charities to support the mental health of staff and volunteers that have been negatively affected by the pandemic and to fund partnerships in the community to help patients who have left hospital to recover fully at home.
Ellie Orton, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said:
“We have been completely overwhelmed and delighted by the response our appeal has received. This pandemic is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes and we’ve been so humbled by the nation rallying in support of NHS staff, volunteers and patients. But we know that while the peak of new cases might have been reached, the work of the NHS is far from done. We must now look to the future and how we can combat the effects of COVID-19 on the mental and physical health of our NHS workers and volunteers, as well as patients. We look forward to working with our partners, and the public, as we move into this next phase. But first, we wanted to thank everyone who has already donated their time and resources so generously: your efforts are already having a huge impact and will continue to do so.”
The donations received so far have been distributed across the country. In hospitals, patients have been unable to see their loved ones because of the social distancing measures, but donations have purchased tablets so they can connect with their loved ones virtually. Nutritious meals and welfare packs containing drinks and snacks have been distributed to hospital staff. Donations have also bought kettles, microwaves, fridges and radios to help meet the needs of many more people working longer shifts.
In order to support the mental health and wellbeing of NHS staff and volunteers funding has been used to set up wobble rooms, where staff can take some much-deserved time out when they need to, in a space that has been furnished and made comfortable. Hospitals like St George’s in South London have installed wellbeing pods where tired doctors and nurses can take a power nap during long shifts. Other hospitals, like Harefield, have started Listening Ear programmes with the funding they have received, providing someone for NHS workers to talk to for emotional support.
Many NHS workers are staying away from their spouses or families in order to keep them safe from the virus. Donations have paid for accommodation for NHS workers as well as toiletries and other essentials for while they are there.
The donations will also help vital partnerships outside hospitals, such as hospices, community healthcare and social care, making sure patients who leave hospital have access to the care they need to recover. You can see a list of where some of the money has gone around the UK here.
More information is available on: www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk