Published: 10:38, 20 November 2020
| Updated: 11:53, 20 November 2020
Donations to help a hospital's charity support frontline health workers and patients during the coronavirus pandemic have left managers humbled.
Since April, more than £250,000 has been given to the Medway Hospital Charity through public donations, gifts and grants.
The generosity of the public has been praised with money set to improve facilities at the Gillingham hospital for staff and patients and to improve mental well-being.
The NHS Charities Together has donated £166,500 to the hospital's charitable branch following its Covid-19 Urgent Appeal galvanised support across the country.
It is the same fund which Captain Sir Tom Moore raised more than £30 million for during the first lockdown.
A further £85,000 in gifts from the public in Medway and Swale has also been donated to the Medway Hospital Charity.
The hospital itself will receive £50,000 from the NHS Charities Together funding as it seeks to support families, patients and staff during the second wave of the pandemic.
In what's been a difficult month for the hospital with rising numbers of Covid patients and introducing enhanced measures to cope with added pressure on the hospital, the boss of the trust says the support is "humbling".
Chief executive of Medway NHS Foundation Trust, James Devine, said: "On behalf of our staff and patients, I cannot thank you enough for your generous donations and fundraising efforts for both The Medway Hospital Charity and NHS Charities Together.
"Your kindness motivates our staff to keep going and, whilst many donations have already been used for staff and patient benefit, some of the money, from NHS Charities Together, will fund longer-term wellbeing projects."
Projects using the grant money from the NHS Charities Together are being planned including creating a new staff gym at Medway Maritime Hospital.
Funds will also be spent on research into Covid-19, support for the trust's BAME Network and a permanent staff wellbeing hub in the main hospital building.
Money donated to the Medway Hospital Charity will help fund various projects assisting patients and staff including simulation equipment such as a Covid-19 lung trainer to help teams prepare for the second wave.
"I cannot thank you enough for your generous donations and fundraising efforts..."
It will also go on tablets, phones and boards to help patients communicate with families and staff during their stay in hospital.
The charity is also providing dandelion remembrance plaques sent by the trust's End of Life Care team to families who lost loved ones during the pandemic and could not be with them when they died.
Patient personal care packs, including toiletries for frontline staff wearing PPE for long hours, as well as a thank you cream tea for hardworking staff and food care packs to support them during lockdown will also be funded.
The charity is also using donations to create a courtyard where staff can take a break, to be ready in the spring.
Mr Devine added his "heartfelt" thanks on behalf of the charity "to each and every supporter for making such a positive difference to our staff and patients’ lives".
"Living through a global pandemic is not easy and times are tough but it’s often in the most challenging of times that people go above and beyond and you, our donors, have done just that," he said.
"Your incredible generosity has, and will continue, to make a real difference to both staff and patients. Your support means the world to us. Thank you for showing your appreciation for our hospital.”