Thank you, to our Guy’s and St Thomas’ family
This is no ordinary time for Guy’s and St Thomas’. And this is no ordinary time for the incredible hospital staff. But thanks to our amazing supporters, this has been no ordinary fundraising appeal.
Since we launched the appeal in early March, an astounding £1.5 million has been raised to support staff through some of the toughest shifts of their careers, and to help patients being treated during the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you.
Keeping staff strong, physically and mentally
As we no doubt all remember, early on in the outbreak, we found empty shelves at the supermarkets, with online delivery slots almost impossible to get. For a healthcare worker at the end of a long shift, this was extremely difficult. Thanks to donations, a pop-up emergency food support service opened at St Thomas’ Hospital for all staff. It was stocked with fresh fruit and veg, baked goods and non-perishable food, as well as luxury items such as hand cream, all of which were donated as gifts in kind by generous businesses. Staff could pick up items for free, which proved invaluable for those who struggled to get to the supermarkets.
In addition, your donations have helped provide free tea, coffee and milk supplies to all our hospital staff rooms and across our community sites. They’re also subsidising all hospital canteens and vendors to provide a 50% discount for NHS staff and London Ambulance Service staff.
Donations have also helped in other areas such as assisting staff facing financial hardship, providing vital training for those treating patients infected by the virus, and offering support for stress and anxiety.
Supporting staff wellbeing and mental health
When staff need space and time away from the pressure of the wards, they are now able to visit one of the Wellbeing Zones that have opened across the hospitals. They can enjoy hot drinks, food and pamper items, unwind in comfy furniture, or even make use of a massage chair to help decompress at the end of a long shift.
Wellbeing advisors and trained mental health first aiders are available seven days a week, on hand to lend staff a listening ear and signpost them to other mental health resources.
‘Our staff have been able to enjoy so many things thanks to people’s kindness and generosity,’ says Valerie Boso, Wellbeing Advisor. ‘Most popular is our massage chair; staff queue up for that all the time. They can have aromatherapy treatment, and there’s also an exercise bike.
‘I’ve noticed the relief and sheer gratitude that the staff feel as they’re able to leave all the challenges behind the door.’
Thanks a million - for all your support
A message of thanks from Dr Ian Abbs, Chief Executive, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Toni Lynch, Deputy Chief Nurse, and Valerie Boso, Wellbeing Advisor, to everyone that has supported our coronavirus appeal.
If you would like to support our campaign, please see below the many ways you can support our NHS staff while they deal with this extraordinary crisis.
Of course, the usual annual fundraising challenge events this spring and summer were cancelled. But that didn’t stop our amazing community and fundraisers! As part of the appeal, hundreds of people have taken on the virtual 30in30 challenge, completing 30 stints of an activity of their choice in 30 days.
From Diana and her pet dog Dido who picked up 30 pieces of rubbish every day for 30 days, to David who walked a mile a day in his garden (25 laps) for 30 days, the creativity and dedication has been phenomenal from everyone and overall an incredible £27,000 has been raised. Amazing!
Messages of strength and unity
As well as donations, our community has sent in incredibly powerful messages of support for staff. We have received over 4,000 messages, which we have displayed in various ways including on screens and large banners around the hospitals. One staff member said:
‘This was amazing! Thank you. It’s [the messages] on our computer screens today and it is motivating us all to keep going. It’s fantastic to see such amazing support for the whole NHS family at the moment.’
Staff from across Guy’s and St Thomas’ have been touched by the wonderful messages, donations and fundraising, as junior doctor Harrison Carter explains:
‘Like so many of my colleagues, I’ve been blown away by the lengths people have gone to show their support for NHS staff. It really helps lift our collective mood to know that the nation has our backs as we come to work.
‘I really can’t thank everyone who has donated enough for their generosity and support.’
What’s been crystal clear throughout this extremely challenging time is the incredible way people have rallied together within our Guy’s and St Thomas’ family. From individuals and families, to businesses, to staff, through to patients. This is a community we can all feel extremely proud of. Thank you.