NHS Charities Together has shared the incredible impact of its Covid-19 Urgent Appeal – for which the British public raised a record-breaking £150 million – in its 2020 Annual Report.
The most successful fundraising appeal ever, the funds raised by the charity in 2020 are already making a huge difference to the lives of patients, volunteers, communities and NHS staff across the UK, and helping the health service as it navigates the most challenging time in its history.
NHS Charities Together is an independent national charity representing 240 NHS charities in the UK. Thanks to the efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore, Joe Wicks, Premier League footballers, and thousands of others across the UK, donations from its Covid-19 Urgent Appeal have, over the last financial year, helped fund over 600 new programmes– helping the NHS go further than would otherwise be possible.
In total last year, NHS Charities Together allocated over £110 million to its member charities – £42 million to meet urgent needs within the NHS, plus £33 million to support projects in the community, and a further £35 million to support the recovery of the NHS. Funds continue to be allocated this year to reach the places they are most needed.
Some of the life-changing projects funded in 2020 included counselling services for NHS staff, helplines, practical support (e.g. access to necessary food, drink and rest areas) and intensive psychological support for post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as broader patient-focused initiatives funding research into Long Covid, bereavement support, digital devices to keep isolated patients connected with loved ones, and specialist equipment. With the public’s help, this year, NHS Charities Together has also funded thousands of emergency first responder volunteers to help take pressure off overstretched ambulance services.
Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said:
“Back in March 2020, as the pandemic began to escalate, there was a phenomenal outpouring of support from the UK public for the NHS, and we still feel completely blown away by their generosity. Despite how heartbreaking this time was for all of us, people wanted to show their gratitude and show how much the sacrifices of NHS staff meant.
“We feel so fortunate to have been able to support NHS staff, patients and volunteers at this difficult time and make such a difference across the whole UK. But we are now facing a long period of recovery, with a significant toll on exhausted workers, a backlog of patients, and clinics that are busier than ever. NHS staff are continuing to be there for us despite the ongoing challenges, but we must continue to be there for them in the long term.”
Kate Sinclair is Staff Nurse in the ICU at Wrexham Maelor Hospital. Funded by the North Wales NHS Charity, Awyr Las, using NHS Charities Together grants, her team have been able to help extremely sick patients cope with anxiety and isolation due to Covid-19, keeping them connected with family members by funding equipment like iPads to enable virtual visiting.
“The funding has made all the difference to so many patients and staff. It has been so traumatic seeing patients isolated from loved ones during the pandemic. We were able to fund devices that enabled patients to see their loved ones –tragically, sometimes to say goodbye to them – which made all the difference to them at that difficult moment.”
Ian Lush OBE, Chair of NHS Charities Together, said:
“It’s been an incredibly challenging 18 months for us all with the journey we have been on as a nation and global community. The support from the public during this time has been heartfelt, and people really wanted to do their bit to support the NHS to help it cope with this unprecedented situation. Hundreds of thousands of people got behind the NHS, from clapping on doorsteps to donating to our ‘One million claps’ campaign or setting their own challenges to walk, run, skydive, or bake.
“In total, we raised an unbelievable 150 million pounds, the vast majority of which has already been allocated the length and breadth of the UK through every one of our 241 member NHS charities, helping patients, staff and volunteers at this really difficult time. We are so grateful to everyone who has enabled this to happen – our amazing individual and corporate supporters. Together you have made a huge difference to NHS patients and staff.”
To find out more about how your donations make a difference to the NHS, visit www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk.