I normally start each of my blogposts with news of a visit and grant cheque to a charity. That, after all, is what the Hospital Saturday Fund was set up to do. However, like a lot of charities, we have had to adapt to new situations brought about by the coronavirus outbreak.
Why start a COVID-19 Grant?
The Hospital Saturday Fund has been in existence since 1873, so it’s fair to say, it has survived a few storms over the years! Having temporarily suspended our standard grant-making, we began to consider ways in which we could continue to assist, at least some of, the charities we had helped in the past. This was how the idea for the COVID-19 Grant came about.
PPE and the COVID-19 Grant
Hospices and charitable care homes are in desperate need of PPE equipment in order to protect, often extremely vulnerable, children and adults. After a flurry of phonecalls, we quickly identified and approached fifty hospices and charitable care homes across the UK and Ireland who we thought we could help. The intention behind providing grants is to help these organisations gain further access to the PPE that they require.
In normal circumstances, anyone applying for a Hospital Saturday Fund grant has to wait for our quarterly grant-making committee meetings before a grant is awarded. To be of any use, the COVID-19 grant required a quick turnaround. With our trustees’ blessing, we were able to direct funds into the recipient charities’ bank accounts within 48 hours. The response has been extremely positive!
Response to the COVID-19 Grant
We are going through about 400 face masks a week in the hospice. These masks had previously cost thirteen cents and now it is €1.23 a mask! That’s an unexpected extra spend of nearly €500 per week. Your grant would help keep our children, staff and families safe for a month. These are unprecedented times and LauraLynn is doing everything we can to keep many of Ireland’s most vulnerable little children safe at this time. We could not be fulfilling this role and elevating our crisis-care bed capacity without wonderful organisations and individuals like yourselves – thank you.
Ruth Rowan, LauraLynn
This unexpected support could not have come at a better time, as you know that we’ve recently launched an appeal for support for personal protective equipment to protect our carers and residents of our care homes. It is more important than ever that we continue to provide care and support to disabled people. Our staff are at the frontline in the national battle against coronavirus, caring round the clock for our residents, and we are doing everything we can to ensure their needs are met.
Christine Neubeiser, Leonard Cheshire Disability
To date, the following charities have received the COVID-19 grant:
Abbeyfield Society, Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust, Bantry Hospice, Cahercalla Community Hospital and Hospice, Cheshire Ireland, Demelza Hospice Care for Children, Dublin Simon Community, LauraLynn Children’s Hospice, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Martha Trust, Marymount University Hospital and Hospice, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Princess Alice Hospice, Richard House Children’s Hospice, Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland, St Columba’s Children’s Hospice, St Raphael’s Hospice, St Wilfred’s Hospice, Eastbourne, Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice, Marymount University Hospital and Hospice.
We plan to continue with the COVID-19 Grant and I will be posting further updates as the situation develops. #KeepSafe