Funds from the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal have been used by Your Trust Charity, the registered charity of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust, to fund essential wellbeing packs for 7,000 staff at Sandwell, City and Rowley Regis hospitals, as well as the Trust’s 150+ community-based services.

Essentials for staff

Your Trust Charity has allocated an initial £21,000 from part of their first grant from the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal to provide vital items such as toiletries, water bottles, lip balm, hand cream, face masks, and snacks to their staff.

“If we can ensure that our staff are well and hydrated, we know that they are 100% healthy to look after our patients at this difficult time. At our Trust we are one big family and look after each other. This support is helping us with our resilience, it’s keeping our staff going, whether that’s with food or hydration, or to help them with their mental wellbeing.”

Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Manager

The Your Trust charity team has been personally delivering these to wards and departments, and the feedback from staff has been immensely grateful, from their clinicians to domestic and portering staff. In addition, to help protect staff and their families, the charity is providing on-site showers for staff to immediately get clean after a shift and wash bags for staff to safely transport their work clothes home with them.

Mental health support

Amanda said: “This is a marathon, not a sprint, so we need to sustain our staff’s wellbeing.” To help do this the charity has created a sanctuary where staff can go to decompress and relax after a long shift. Therapists have also been brought in to run meditation classes to help staff deal with the difficulties and pressures during this time, and the charity has plans to allocate future funds to provide counselling for staff to help with their mental health.

Patient support

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust has also made sure vulnerable patients are continued to be cared for after they are discharged from hospital. They are providing food care packages containing canned goods, pasta and vegetables to last until longer term support can be provided. They are also ensuring any homeless patients being discharged leave with a clean set of clothes and food packages.

Urgent Appeal Grants

Grants given to NHS charities are used to meet the immediate and urgent needs of patients, staff and volunteers. Funding is also going towards helping partnerships outside hospitals, such as hospices, community healthcare and social care, making sure patients leaving hospital have access to the care they need to recover. In the longer term it will also fund programmes to help staff and volunteers recover fully once the crisis has abated, reducing the long-term impact on them and the people they care about.

About the Urgent Appeal

The NHS Charities Together Urgent Appeal acknowledges and supports NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients. It has been put together in liaison with NHS England and national bodies, our member NHS charities and national giving platforms. Click here to donate.