The Healthcare Workers’ Foundation has launched a new fund that will support the families of healthcare workers who have lost their lives to COVID-19.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 600 healthcare workers in the UK have lost their lives.
The Family Fund will provide bereaved families with access to counselling, legal and financial advice, respite breaks and mentoring services on careers and education to children. The charity is inviting the public to support the fund.
The Healthcare Workers’ Foundation (HWF) is a charity founded by NHS workers for NHS workers.
Asked for by healthcare workers
The Fund was created following responses from healthcare workers, who expressed their fear and anxiety about the impact their work may have on their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
The risk from the virus remains highest for healthcare workers, who are seven times more likely to develop severe COVID-19 than non-essential workers.
Dr Michelle Dawson, a Trustee at the Healthcare Workers’ Foundation and a Critical Care Doctor, had considered back in March whether she and her colleagues would survive the pandemic.
She said: “As the pandemic was just beginning everyone was frightened about the new, unknown, deadly threat that was facing us. I remember doing a handover in critical care and looking round at my colleagues, wondering which of us would survive and who would die. Sadly two of those doctors have died of COVID-19 since that day. Both leave behind grieving families and children.
“Healthcare workers risk their lives to help the public every day, and we must now step forward to take care of their families in their time of need.”
The HWF has already started working with bereaved families of healthcare workers, such as that of 44-year-old care home nurse, Elsie Sazuze, who died in April after contracting the virus. She left behind her husband Ken, son Andrew, 22, and daughter Anna, 16. The HWF stepped-in to provide specialist bereavement counselling for the family through the charity’s partner, Harley Therapy, and also helped her son secure an internship with a global accounting and consulting firm.
Ken Sazuze said: “This is our first Christmas without my wife Elsie. Losing her has been devastating and something words cannot explain. The HWF has supported us in ways we couldn’t have imagined, including helping my son to secure a great internship which may not have been possible otherwise.”
NHS Million, an independent organisation also focused on raising awareness surrounding the issues faced by healthcare workers, supports the launch of the HWF’s Family Fund campaign; an independent organisation also focused on raising awareness surrounding the issues faced by healthcare workers.
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