Today we are launching a major appeal to help staff and patients at the Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford.
The Sentinel has joined forces with UHNM Charity, which serves both hospitals, to ask for key items and cash to help workers and also people being treated.
Importantly people are being asked not to turn up at the hospital with donations, but to email or call a charity hotline to arrange for safe deliveries to be made.
Tracy Bullock, Chief Executive at University Hospitals of North Midlands said: “We are delighted and humbled by the numbers of local people asking us how they can support our incredible staff during the Coronavirus crisis. Everyone really can help by following the government guidance to stay at home as reducing the numbers of those catching the virus is the very best way of reducing the pressures on our staff.
“However, if local businesses have items they would like to drop off to us then we’re encouraging them to get in contact with the charity to arrange a delivery slot and our teams will then distribute these items across our hospitals. This way our staff can still benefit from your generosity, but we can reduce any risk to you or to them.”
Sought-after items include lip balm, hand cream, hair nets and mini toiletries.
The hospital has been overwhelmed with offers from local businesses wanting to support NHS staff during the pandemic, but needs to manage donations carefully to ensure everyone involved remains safe.
Tracy Bullock added: “We’ve had requests from people wishing to make a financial donation via our website and social media pages so we have set up a special fund for this.
“All money received will help us to provide wellbeing boxes and assistance to staff, as well as any extra equipment that staff recommend to help our patients during the pandemic.
“Every donation is a huge morale boost and lets our fabulous doctors, nurses and other essential staff know they have your support. Thank you so much for your generosity.”
Any items donated will be distributed to staff across all wards and departments at both hospitals to boost morale.
Any cash donations will be used to put together care packages for staff or to buy items or equipment to benefit patients.
Martin Tideswell, Editor of The Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive, said: “After joining forces with UHNM Charity to ensure that every patient in hospital over Christmas and every staff member working at Christmas received a gift, I’m proud that we’re able to work together once again during the coronavirus pandemic. Please do whatever you can to help.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to frontline NHS and emergency services staff, care workers, NHS ancillary and support staff, council workers, retail and distribution workers and volunteers. We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone whose actions are helping others. We appreciate your efforts. We’re proud of you.”
Any businesses or individuals wishing to make a delivery should call the UHNM Charity team on 01782 676444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a delivery slot.
Cash donations can be made at www.uhnm.nhs.uk/uhnm-charity/support-your-uhnm-heroes/
The appeal links in with the Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive-backed NHS Heroes campaign, which launched this week, to make sure health service staff know exactly how much they mean to the nation.
As part of NHS Heroes we’re asking you to show NHS staff love by helping us create a living map of gratitude from every corner of Britain. By dropping a heart on the map, you’re saying you appreciate the efforts undertaken daily in the NHS.
To pledge your support, just:
- Go to www.thanksamillionnhs.co.uk
- Add your partial postcode (eg: ST1 3) to put a heart on the map and show your support for the heroes of the NHS
- Share the page to encourage others to show their support