The NHS Charities Together coronavirus appeal has now raised £130m in total, and about a quarter of the donations have been distributed to NHS charities so far.
The organisation launched the appeal to support NHS staff and volunteers during the pandemic on 23 March. The initial target of £100m was hit in early May, with Colonel Tom’s £30m fundraising effort making a key contribution.
NHS Charities Together now represents 230 NHS charities across the UK, having worked with 140 when the crisis began.
£30m distributed so far
The organisation said that some £30m of the fundraised total has been distributed to the charities so far.
Money was granted in three rounds: an initial £35,000 grant to each NHS Charities Together member, a second round of grants whose amounts depended on how many NHS staff each charity supported (based on £7 per staff member), and a final round of £10m that was application-based.
The appeal was initially focused on providing immediate support to NHS staff and volunteers, with funds being spent on food, tablets to help patients, staff and volunteers stay in contact with loved ones, and mental health support.
NHS Charities Together said that “local NHS charities have widened the scope of the support they are providing” to include other healthcare and social care organisations, such as hospices, and to focus on people who have been disproportionally affected by the crisis, such as staff and patients from BAME communities or in high-risk groups.
Aside from Colonel Tom, top fundraisers include the Run For Heroes campaign, which has raised £5.5m through the “Run 5k, Donate £5m, Nominate 5” slogan.
Various fundraisers also followed Colonel Tom’s example. Ninety-year-old Margaret Payne has so far raised more than £400,000 by climbing the equivalent of Suilven mountain in Scotland on her home’s stairs.
Last month, a group of five runners ran a marathon on a bespoke route that spelled NHS on the streets of London, and raised £15,000.
‘We never imagined we would hit a total like this’
On Sunday 5 July, it will be the 72nd anniversary since the NHS was established in 1948, and NHS England and NHS Charities Together are asking people to clap at 5pm to celebrate.
Ellie Orton, CEO of NHS Charities Together, said: “When we started the appeal, we never imagined we would hit a total like this in just a few months. On behalf of all our member charities and the NHS staff, volunteers and patients they support, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has made that possible, your generosity is making such a difference.”
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “On behalf of all the staff and patients who have benefited, I’d like to thank everyone who has led or contributed to this massive fundraising effort, which is already making a difference across the country and will continue to do so for years to come.”