The NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal has now raised £130 million since launching in March.
Over £30 million has been distributed to local NHS charities so far to support NHS staff, volunteers and their patients during the crisis.
The funds have been used to meet the immediate and urgent needs of staff, volunteers and patients as well as helping tackle the longer term effects on health and wellbeing. This has included the provision of nutritious food and drink, comfortable places to take a break during long shifts, tablets so patients, staff and volunteers can stay in contact with friends and family, “wobble” rooms and specialised psychological support for staff.
The appeal raised £100m in its first six weeks. Donations from individual fundraisers have included Captain Tom Moore’s £32m+, 18 month old Beatrice George who has been sponsored for more than £1,300 to do daily pebble hunts and 90-year-old Margaret Payne, who has raised £350,000 climbing her stairs at home during lockdown. Many businesses have donated too, with Aviva giving £5m in April, and XTX Markets £10m in March. Philanthropists have also supported the appeal, including Hans and Julia Rausing.
Local NHS charities have now widened the scope of the support they are providing, to help partnerships outside hospitals, such as hospices, community healthcare and social care, making sure those support services and organisations have the resources they need to care for patients, volunteers and staff.
They are also providing additional support where it is most urgently needed by NHS staff, volunteers and patients in their area, with a focus on support for people who are disproportionately affected by the Covid crisis, such as patients and staff from BAME communities and high-risk groups like those living with disabilities.
In the longer term the money raised will also fund programmes to help staff and families recover fully once the crisis has passed, to help reduce the long-term impact.
Ellie Orton, CEO of NHS Charities Together, commented:
“When we started the appeal, we never imagined we would hit a total like this in just a few months. On behalf of all our member charities and the NHS staff, volunteers and patients they support, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has made that possible, your generosity is making such a difference.”
Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said:
“On behalf of all the staff and patients who have benefitted, I’d like to thank everyone who has led or contributed to this massive fundraising effort, which is already making a difference across the country and will continue to do so for years to come.
“This year has been the most challenging in NHS history and our colleagues have gone to extraordinary lengths to care for all those who have needed it, but we haven’t done it alone, and the public’s support has been vital – whether raising money for added extras, volunteering in their local community, or simply staying home to stop infection spreading.
This Sunday marks the NHS’s 72nd birthday. NHS Charities Together and NHS England will be joining staff and volunteers from across the country to say thank you to everyone who has donated or raised money for the Covid appeal.
NHS Charities Together has also partnered with /together and NHS England to encourage everyone to come together at 5pm on Sunday to clap for everyone who has been there for them during the pandemic.