Charity braces for difficult road ahead after pandemic.
More than £1.4 million of donations and gifts have supported NHS heroes and patients at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust during the COVID-19 pandemic. The people of Birmingham and beyond have gone above the call of duty to help the hospitals protect some of the most vulnerable in society. Support which has and will prove invaluable for the trust, as its charity braces for a difficult year ahead.
At the height of the pandemic, the number of intensive care beds at Birmingham Children’s Hospital were significantly increased to take on more of the sickest children from across the Midlands, supporting NHS hospitals throughout the region. At Birmingham Women’s Hospital, more than 2,250 babies have been delivered since the country went in to lockdown, with staff having to navigate the threat of COVID-19 to their patients and themselves.
Side by side with them have been the public, local businesses and organisations, as well as charitable trusts and foundations, to ensure that those colleagues can continue to care for those that need them at this critical time, and those who will need them in the future.
Since March, more than £500,000 has been donated to Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity from the generous public, via donations and fundraising, as well as through campaigns such as Gymshark’s #NHSSweatySelfie, which saw the brand donate £180,000, and from generous grants from trusts and foundations, including more than £75,000 from NHS Charities Together’s national appeal. This money has been used to provide emergency provisions for our patients and staff, and will enable us to respond to unpredictable demands over the coming months.
As well as donating money, the generous public and corporate businesses have also donated over 500 hours of their valuable time to ensure the hospitals can continue to fulfil services, such as prescription deliveries, that they otherwise would have struggled to complete.
More than £900,000 worth of goods and services have been donated to patients and staff by businesses from Birmingham and beyond. This includes free use of hotel rooms and apartments in close proximity to hospitals for staff to use, thousands of car parking spaces for use by essential staff, patients and their families, as well as food and care packages, equipment, and gifts for patients, which all add up to some fantastic numbers:
· 4,000 bottles of hand cream, moisturisers and hand wash for staff and families.
· 800 new toys donated for young patients.
· 400 books donated for patients.
· More than 1,200 face shields to protect staff on duty.
· 64 laptops donated, enabling non-clinical staff to work from home.
· 2,000 hot meals donated for staff to get the nourishment they need, plus much more.
Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals Charity, said: “We’ve been absolutely blown away by the response we’ve seen from the public, local businesses and partners, plus the invaluable support of charitable trusts and foundations. When you put it all together, it’s extraordinary.
“Looking past the impressive figures however, what it truly means is that we’ve been able to support our staff, patients and families during this turbulent and demanding time, ensure that our hospitals can continue to provide their vital service to the community, and that our charity can continue to support the work of our NHS heroes. That said, our job is not done, and the full impact that COVID-19 will have on our charity fundraising is yet to be seen, so we have to work to keep this momentum going.”
It’s been well reported the devastating impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on the charity sector and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals Charity itself has forecasted an estimated 32% loss in its fundraising income for the year 2020/21.
To support the charity during this challenging period by fundraising or donating to its COVID-19 Appeal at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, please visit here or for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, bch.org.uk/covid-19-appeal.