Poole Hospital

Longfleet Rd, Poole, Dorset

£170,000 donated to hospital’s ‘Heroes Fund’

Poole Hospital’s Heroes Fund, which was set up to respond to the health and well-being needs of the hospital’s staff and patients during the Covid-19 pandemic, has so far received £170,000 in grants and donations.

Over the past five months charitable organisations, local businesses and individuals have all contributed to the fund.

Grants were received from NHS Charities Together and the Talbot Village Trust, a charity supporting causes in the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area, which provided an amazing £25,000 grant to support staff wellbeing initiatives.

Other donations included, Maverick Race, a Bournemouth based trail-running events organiser, who contributed £7,060 from the sale of specially designed t-shirts and Elliott Brown Watches, a Poole based watch manufacturer, who donated £4,290.

In addition, community groups and individual fundraisers have also been a vital source of support with Yarrells School and Nursery holding a ‘camp out’, with pupils and staff camping in their own gardens, raising £1,223. A garden marathon was also held in place of the annual Poole Festival of Running, which raised £13,425,  split between the Poole Hospital Heroes Fund and the hospital’s cancer services team.

So far the charity has committed to spending £65,000 which has been used to support staff safe spaces, which offer staff a place to rest and reflect; food and hydration, and the establishment of staff support helplines and counselling services. It has also been used to help patients, particularly those recovering from Covid-19.

Commenting on the staff rest areas, Elena Fearn, foundation year two paediatrics doctor, said: “Three safe spaces were created to provide staff with an escape from their day to day working life. 

“Having a comfortable space to relax has really brought people together with staff truly appreciating the hospital and local businesses contributing these spaces.

“A midwife who has been in the hospital for 30 years told me this was the nicest thing anyone had done for staff and was very emotional about it.”

The fund has also been used to support patients, including helping with patient wellness. Contributions have been used to fund delirium activity boxes, which include strengthening equipment, puzzles, quiz books, colouring activities, board games and card games, and are being used by the hospital’s respiratory therapy team to aid post-Covid-19 patient rehabilitation.

“The activity boxes assist therapists working with the patients to re-orientate, improve cognition and ultimately reduce the delirium experience due to the effects of long-term sedation, on top of waking up in an unfamiliar environment,” said Suzie Jupp, acute inpatient team lead physio.

Looking ahead, the charity is working to ensure that a lasting legacy remains from the donations which will be used to continue to support patient wellbeing and look after the psychological, physical and mental wellbeing of staff.

This includes £5,000 of funding for department leaders to attend the Florence Nightingale Foundation’s NHS Leadership Support Service, which will help train leaders to support the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.

Summing up the gratitude for these fantastic donations, Sara Fripp, Poole Hospital Charity fundraising manager, said: “Without the generosity and support of our fundraisers and local organisations none of this would have been possible.

“We have seen communities, individuals and companies come together to support the Heroes Fund, whether that be from a head shave, a tombola, running laps around their garden or simply by making a donation.

“As a hospital based charity we cannot thank our donors and supporters enough for their gratitude and generosity.”

Poole Hospital