How Sussex people always come together in a crisis
PUBLISHED: 00:00 27 April 2020
We recognise some of the extraordinary efforts of our community heroes in these unprecedented times.
Show them we care
Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has launched the Hospital Heroes COVID-19 Appeal to help staff caring for patients with the virus.
The charity, which raises funds to provide state-of-the-art medical equipment, upgrade hospital facilities and support staff development, is now focusing its efforts on supporting the health and wellbeing of clinical and non-clinical
staff of St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands hospitals.
NHS staff – including nurses, doctors, midwives, paramedics, domestic cleaners, porters, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals – are among the most vital key workers in the ongoing fight against this virus. Funds raised from the appeal
could help the charity provide comfort packs for staff working long shifts, especially those who are staying in emergency accommodation.
To donate to Love Your Hospital’s Hospital Heroes COVID-19 appeal, visit justgiving.com/campaign/WSHTHospitalHeroes
Financial donations may also be sent to: Love Your Hospital COVID-19 Appeal, St Richard’s Hospital, Stillman House, Spitalfield Lane, Chichester PO19 6SE or to make a donation by credit card over the phone, call 0800 028 4890.
A similar campaign is taking place in East Sussex: Help BSUH Hospitals Conquer COVID-19 (www.justgiving.com/campaign/helpbsuh). Funds raised will be used to specifically support the dedicated NHS staff working to tackle the virus in areas such as the Intensive Care Unit, special isolation wards, and all other areas that are impacted by the pandemic.
Donations will provide practical help for things like food delivery during long shifts and care boxes so the nurses, doctors, porters, healthcare assistants, cleaners and other staff can always get a cup of tea, coffee, and a snack.
Donations to the appeal will help make a difference in Brighton, Hove and Mid Sussex at four hospitals: The Royal Sussex County, Princess Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Sussex Eye Hospital and The Princess Royal Hospital.
Lewes MP joins the NHS fight
Lewes MP Maria Caulfield has pledged to “return to the front line” of nursing in response to a government call for retied NHS workers to assist in the fight against COVID-19.
Ms Caulfield, who was elected in 2015 to the seat previously held by Liberal Democrat Norman Baker, has continued to do occasional nursing shifts. She will work night shifts and weekends during the parliamentary recess, receiving a special dispensation to do so.
Ms Caulfield joined the NHS straight from school, eventually specialising in cancer treatment and becoming a senior sister at the Royal Marsden. She also worked at the Royal Sussex County Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital. Upon her election in May 2015, she said: “I would like to thank the Conservative Party for choosing a working class nurse like myself for this seat because very often you hear about politicians not being from the real world and I certainly am.” Health secretary Matt Hancock said in March: “NHS and social care staff are doing an incredible job in the fight against coronavirus, and we want to ensure they are fully supported.
“To further boost the ranks of our NHS, we are now turning to people who have recently left the healthcare professions who can bring their experience and expertise to our health system.
“They can play a crucial role in maximising our capacity to fight this outbreak – and wherever they can help, they will be hugely welcomed.”
The Sussex Crisis Fund is supporting local charities and community groups who are in the frontline of community action to help people suffering as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Smaller charities and voluntary groups are the absolute backbone of community life here in Sussex. They support everyone from people with mental health problems to families on low incomes, from isolated older people to those without a roof over their heads,” said Kevin Richmond, chief executive of Sussex Community Foundation.
“We’ve been talking to charities across the county and there are many examples of charities rolling their sleeves up and finding creative ways to do the seemingly impossible. Food banks are organising food distribution to poor neighbourhoods across the county, befriending charities are moving to telephone or online befriending to ensure that no-one is left isolated and lonely, and many charities are training vast numbers of new volunteers to respond to the immediate need.”
These initiatives need support with their basic costs and to sustain their extraordinary efforts to helping the most vulnerable members of our community through this emergency. To donate, go to www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/sussexcrisisfund
CFT steps up
In common with other arts venues in Sussex, Chichester Festival Theatre has had to close its doors due to the pandemic. The company has joined the fight against COVID-19 by offering its 11-bedroom house, normally used to accommodate creative teams during the Festival season, to Chichester’s St Richard’s Hospital for use by medical staff; and offering its vans to food rescue charity UK Harvest for food deliveries, while staff have been volunteering to clear their new warehouse space and give out food parcels.