At the beginning of February, the UK mourned the loss of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised £32.8m for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday – breaking the Guinness World Record for an individual’s charity walk and inspiring a nation. In tribute to Captain Sir Tom, and all those who donated or fundraised as part of NHS Charities Together’s Covid Appeal, Northamptonshire Health Charity is sharing news of how the £412,600 they’ve received in grant funding has supported projects, both large and small, making a huge difference to local NHS staff well-being as well as enhancing patient care and experience. The charity supports Northampton General Hospital (NGH) and the community and mental health services across the county under Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.
From toiletries, nightwear and activities for patients, including portable DVD players and radios; to tablets which have helped the volunteers facilitate virtual visiting calls; from rehab kits for ITU patients; to birthday packs for those spending it in hospital with no visitors. The charity has funded sensory and gym equipment for mental health patients at Berrywood and St Mary’s hospitals, as well as gardening and DIY resources for occupational therapy projects. Weighted blankets and sensory chairs for children and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) inpatients are offering deep pressure touch stimulation which calms the central nervous system and literally gives them a big warm hug.
Tablets, radios and care pamper packs together with activity items have been funded for mental health patients under the NSTEP team – looking after adults experiencing their first episode of psychosis. The tablets have helped to facilitate group therapy sessions, particularly important for those living alone. NSTEP Operations Manager, Sue Jugon said, “… At times we have felt like we are sinking and [the charity] have enabled us to be creative and provide us with so many things that have lifted not only our spirits but improved the quality of lives of some of our most challenged families…”
Staff at Berrywood have designed a garden space for the therapeutic needs of their dementia patients, to encourage use of all motor skills like walking, reaching, bending and planting seeds helping to reduce stress levels and promote calm and relaxation.
Staff well-being is also at the forefront with the charity funding much needed hand creams, lip balms, hydrating face masks and goody bags for different teams across both NHS Trusts. During the first lockdown, ‘kindness boxes’ were provided for teams at NGH with pop up stations serving ‘on the go’ snacks and drinks for the community staff at a number of sites across county. There have also been two Trust-wide ‘Thank You’ initiatives where every staff member received cards and gifts.
The charity is pleased to be funding the development of a new permanent relaxation facility at NGH. Work is also complete on a Reflection Garden with appropriate planting and seating to provide an oasis of peace, calm and reflection as well as enhanced facilities for both staff and patients to take some rest time and enjoy the open air and pleasant surroundings.
“All of this is only a snapshot of everything the charity is able to fund thanks to the legacy from Captain Sir Tom Moore and all those fundraising for NHS Charities Together,” said Rob Powell, Community Fundraiser, “Thank you seems too little to say for such an enormous contribution this true legend has made to us all.”
Ellie Orton, Chief Executive for NHS Charities Together, said:
“Captain Sir Tom Moore was a complete inspiration to us all and his memory lives on through the incredible programmes NHS charities have been able to fund. Thanks to his efforts, funds have reached the length and breadth of the UK through every one of our 241 member charities, and they have made a huge difference on the ground, both to address the immediate needs of patients and staff and to support the longer-term recovery of the NHS. His legacy will live on through the work of the Captain Tom Foundation.”
In total NHS Charities Together’s Covid-19 Appeal raised £150 million thanks to the support from Captain Sir Tom and others. Over £118 million has already been made available to our 241 member charities to help patients, staff and volunteers on the ground.