Money raised by national hero Captain Sir Tom Moore is being put to use by North Devon’s hospital charity.
The Second World War veteran, known as Captain Tom, raised nearly £33million for NHS Charities Together in April by walking laps of his garden, finishing on his 100th birthday.
The money is now being distributed to NHS charities in stages through grants to support staff and patients through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over and Above, North Devon District Hospital’s charity, has received £109,500 in the first of three tranches of funding – the maximum available for a hospital of its size.
Over and Above fundraising manager Ian Roome said: “We were thrilled to receive this money and have used it to support Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust in the initial stages of this devasting pandemic.”
Over and Above is spending £50,000 of the money on a new staff shower block and lockers, which will reduce the risk of infection and protect staff, with the facilities also available for people who walk or cycle to work.
The funding has also been used to provide a new outdoor staff area. It is hoped the area will give staff the opportunity to have their own space to recuperate away from the pressures and demands of their frontline work, and follows on from the temporary use of the Fern Cancer and Wellbeing Support Centre as a rest area during the height of the pandemic.
Funds have been used to train nurse leaders to take part in the Florence Nightingale nurse leadership course, as well as towards technology for staff and patients to interact with others.
A smart television has helped staff interact with teams remotely, and two tablets have enabled patients to communicate with their loved ones during the pandemic.
An interactive board has helped support patients with dementia, and cancer patients have been able to benefit from a virtual support app.
Chairman of Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, James Brent, said “We would like to thank Captain Sir Tom Moore for thinking of NHS charities when he completed his amazing fundraising feat.
“Thanks to Captain Tom, we have been able to put improvements in for our staff to support them as they continue to work through the Covid-19 pandemic. We cannot thank him – and our staff – enough.”