NHS Charities Together has today announced that it has raised £100 million through its COVID-19 appeal in six weeks.
The charity has already distributed £20 million to its member charities across the UK that have been working to support NHS staff, volunteers and their patients through the Covid-19 appeal.
As well as Captain Tom Moore’s £30 million, raised through walking laps of his garden, fundraising for NHS Charities Together has included fun runs, charity singles, virtual quizzes, and the streaming of films and plays. Corporate donors across sectors including retail, sport and finance have also supported the appeal.
The charity is keeping the appeal live, with the hopes of raising more funds to support recovery after the 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. With hospital patients unable to see their loved ones because of the social distancing measures, donations have purchased tablets so they can connect 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.
To support the mental health and wellbeing of NHS staff and volunteers, funding has also been used to set up wobble rooms, where staff can take time out when they need to. 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.
Donations have also paid for accommodation for NHS workers staying away from home as well as toiletries and other essentials for while they are there.
The donations will also help partnerships outside hospitals, such as hospices, community healthcare and social care, to help ensure that patients who leave hospital have access to the care they need to recover.
More on the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Appeal:
NHS Charities Together Appeal receives £10m donation from XTX Markets 27 March
#ONEMILLIONCLAPS appeal launches to raise £5m for NHS staff 9 April 2020
Aviva pledges £5m to NHS Charities Together & £10m to British Red Cross 15 April 2020
99-year-old veteran passes £5m mark with laps of his garden 15 April 2020