Since the launch of our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund, we have been humbled and delighted by the fantastic response from our communities around Chelsea and Westminster and West Middlesex University Hospitals. The fund was implemented in consultation with clinicians and managers at both sites to ensure that our staff have everything they need to provide the best possible care at this testing time.
We are so grateful for the generosity of hundreds of people who have supported the fund, many of whom have left positive messages for the staff, including this one from a generous donor: “Thank you so much for putting your lives on the line to save ours. I know that this crisis will be emotionally and physically exhausting and I hope my donation can provide some relief. We owe you everything.”
We are constantly working with staff to make sure we can provide exactly what they need as circumstances develop inside our hospitals. Many staff members are now having to self-isolate away from their families but thanks to the generosity of local hotel owners, including Chelsea FC who offered up the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge, we have been able to provide these staff members with the accommodation they require. Staff also told us that they needed overnight bags and wash bags for these periods away from home and we have gratefully received donations from British Airways for toiletries, including hand-moisturiser, eye masks and blankets, as well as the Co-op Kings Road store and TK Maxx. Calls for clothing and underwear have been answered by Topshop and Topman, and London Irish Rugby have teamed up with Powerday to form #PoweringtheNHS, delivering hundreds of free meals to staff at West Middlesex every single day.
Other supporters have set up fundraising pages to encourage their friends and families to donate to the fund. Blitz Gym in Twickenham have come up with a year-long press up challenge, they started with one press up on March 22nd, and are planning to complete 365 press ups on day 365 of the challenge, raising nearly £500 so far! Similarly, CW+ fundraiser Lizi Townend raised nearly £400 by offering free online pilates classes with optional donations going to the fund.
Our incredible team of volunteers and CW+ staff at both hospital sites have been distributing donations from cafes, food companies and local businesses to provide staff with a pick-me-up and as a gesture of thanks for all their hard work. Just some of the gifts staff have been able to enjoy include: brownies from The Brownie Box London; tea from Teapigs; sweet treats from Fit Chews UK; food parcels from Harrods Food; marshmallow bars from Mallow and Marsh; loaves of bread from GAIL’s Bakery; pasta from Bayley and Sage; snacks from Pret a Manger, Wholefoods Fulham and Waitrose Fulham; food parcels from Annabel’s Mayfair; flowers from Bloomin’ Marvellous and magazines from Haymarket Publishing.
Chris Chaney, CW+ Chief Executive commented: “The response from the community has been phenomenal. Staff at both hospitals have been incredibly touched by the kindness of donors and of local companies willing to provide for them during this challenging time. We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund so far – your generosity will ensure staff have the support and provisions that they require and deserve.”