In Mental Health Awareness Week we take a look at how your kindness is making a difference during the pandemic
Our charity’s supporters have stepped up to the challenge from home to make generous contributions to our hospital, making a huge difference over the past few months. From care packages for staff and toys for patients, to vital medical equipment and research, it really has been a huge team effort.
When the challenges brought by the COVID-19 crisis began, we pledged £1,940,000 towards equipment and projects to help Alder Hey Children’s Hospital continue to provide the very best for our young patients.
Your donations have enabled us to buy equipment including specialist beds, wheelchairs, portable ultrasound scanners and x-ray machines. This mobile equipment has allowed our staff to treat patients quickly, safely and efficiently whilst adhering to additional infection control. The additional PPE worn by our staff could be alarming to a young child as kind smiles may not be visible so it is all the more important that equipment is unobtrusive and allows them to explain and carry out procedures in an efficient but child-friendly way. Many of these challenges are quite unique to children’s healthcare so it has been more important than ever that we go above and beyond in funding the very best equipment for their needs.
We also understand how important it is for children to have the opportunity to play and be creative, even when they are poorly. We have provided additional toys, craft materials and play equipment for the main hospital and our children’s mental health unit, with the help of your donations and gifts from supporters including MGA Entertainment and our Merseyside friends, Home Bargains.
Many of the patients treated by our amazing clinicians are based in the community or have alternative treatment plans at home, so that we can maintain the highest levels of infection control and safety on our hospital campus. Your donations have allowed us to purchase home exercise equipment for patient rehabilitation helping our fantastic physios to continue to help children of all ages, with a wide range of health conditions.
Our donors have helped us to provide care packages for every member of Alder Hey NHS staff too. Corporate supporters including Kellogg’s, Unilever, Holland & Barrett and Iceland have generously donated products for self-care, snacks to fuel our busy teams and even an Easter egg for every hero!
Of course our wonderful supporters at Matalan are always ready to help and generously donated jogging bottoms and pillowcases for our frontline staff. This means that they have had a comfortable change of clothes that can be put in the pillowcase for washing at the end of their shift, maintaining infection control, and protecting our staff and their families.
We are very proud to fund a 24-hour counselling and support service for all our Alder Hey staff. Accessible by phone and online, this service has meant that our staff can get the personal support they need exactly when they need it, as they work under additional pressure. We would not have been able to provide this service without the dedication of our supporters, particularly Medicash, remembered affectionately as The Penny in the Pound, and international infrastructure specialists, the John Laing Group.
Sue Weir, chief executive of Medicash, explained why this is so important to them. “Alder Hey is a special place and there is huge pride in the wonderful staff that provide outstanding and vital services, with real care. Mental and emotional wellbeing are always extremely important, but particularly so during the current pandemic. Medicash has given its support to the NHS locally for almost 150 years and is honoured to be able to support Alder Hey’s Staff Assistance Programme. Everyone at Medicash would like to add their personal thanks to all those working at Alder Hey for the incredible work that they are doing.”
Our friends at John Laing added “We are long-standing and proud supporters of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Charity. Being an active member of the communities in which we work is important to us and, particularly at this very challenging time for all NHS workers, we are delighted to contribute to this vital service for essential workers who are doing so much for us all.”
We are grateful to every one of our supporters, every donation counts towards a brighter future for our inspiring young patients. Thank you from everyone here at Alder Hey and please follow us on social media to see even more ways that our supporters are making a difference.