Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Charity is thanking every donor who came forwards and supported NHS Charities Together national Covid-19 campaign, as the charity has received several grants from ‘NHS Charities Together’ totalling £179,000.

The grants received have helped Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) and their NHS Charity to support colleagues and patients in a variety of ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

One area of support came from funding additional support from locally based organisation Socrates, an external organisation of Clinical Psychologists and Cognitive Behavioural Therapists. Nichola Hosty, Freedom to Speak up Guardian/EDI Manager said: “CHFT recognised that our front-line colleagues were routinely exposed to loss of patients, illness of colleagues, high levels of stress and increased exposure to Covid-19. Therefore some of our colleagues could see a deterioration of their mental health or develop anxiety or PTSD. We recognised that trauma needs should be dealt with early and effectively. Thanks to the funding we have been able to provide colleagues with access to face to face ‘life changing’ psychological support which would not have been available without the support of NHS Charities Together.”

Another area where the grant funding supported was via the Trusts catering provision. Funds provided round the clock catering at each of the Trusts hospitals, ensuring hot meals and drinks were available at any hour of the day for day and night shift workers. Coupled with the distribution of 150 boost boxes, filled with various ‘grab and go’ items Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Charity worked closely with CHFT’s Colleague Engagement team to ensure everyone had access to healthy, nutritious snacks and meals, no matter what time of day.

A range of wobble rooms and break out facilities have been set up across the Trust, with one ward in particular receiving funds to fully update their staff room and ward facilities. Respiratory Ward Sister at Calderdale Royal Hospital, Nicola Clark, said: “without the funding we would not have been able to provide colleagues with such wonderful facilities. The donations have transformed the respiratory ward at Calderdale Royal Hospital and thank you so much to everyone who has donated to the appeal”.

A further grant of £50,000 has recently been awarded which has contributed towards increased capacity for virtual patient visiting, and to recruit the Trusts first BAME Community Engagement Partner to coordinate and champion all aspects of BAME engagement, and develop a plan for a community-led model of working with Black communities and other key stakeholders. 

Emma Kovaleski, Fundraising Manager at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Charity said “At CHFT we believe in ‘one culture of care’, caring for each other in the same way we care for our patients. That means that it is as important for us to look after ourselves and be kind and compassionate to our colleagues as it is to provide compassionate care to our patients. And during such challenging times we have been so touched by the kindness and generosity of our communities and feel so incredibly grateful knowing that NHS Charities Together were there for us.”