Fundraiser for healthcare colleagues to say thank you

Hundreds of pounds worth of kitchen goods and toiletries have been donated to a hospital ward to say thank you for saving the life of a colleague.

A total of £5,629 is being donated to the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH) after its healthcare professionals took care of a colleague at The Co-operative Food in Keynsham.

Half of the money was raised through generous donations from customers at 13 Bristol stores that are all part of the regional co-operative, Southern Co-op.

A further £2,500 was donated from Southern Co-op’s wider community fund, Love Your Neighbourhood.

The money will go towards buying six iPads for patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to help them stay in touch with their friends and family.

Jess Hockridge, Store Manager at The Co-operative Food in Queens Road, said: “We can’t thank the healthcare professionals at RUH enough for taking care of Clare and getting her back home safely.

“But we also want to say a massive thanks to all of our customers and Clare’s husband who helped raise this amazing amount of money.

“Having spent time on the hospital’s ward, she was able to speak to the matron and find out exactly what they need. All of the 100 ward colleagues have to wash before and after each shift so the toiletries will come in handy for this.”

As the ward is in a previously unused building, the colleague break out area was in need of a few essentials so the money has also gone towards a kettle, toaster, microwave, sandwich maker, coffee machine and lots more.

Jess added: “One of our duty managers Laura raised a massive £395 by holding a live auction of all of her beauty products on social media as she is also a consultant for Body Shop.

“Plus Clare’s partner Steve added £600 to our final figure from his fundraising which will go towards a TV for the ward.

“All of the support has been so amazing. We’d hoped each of our stores could raise £100 so to get to nearly £6,000 in total is unbelievable.”

Keynsham colleague Clare Hill, who is recovering at home and eager to get back to work, has also been lending a hand as her and her mother have been making pamper bags so that the colleagues on the ward can carry their toiletries safely.

Clare, a Customer Service Assistant in Keynsham, said: “I want to thank everyone who’s donated to the fund, all of our wonderful customers, all of the beautiful and brave people who helped me in ICU and on the Charlotte Ward afterwards. Without their dedication, love and care I wouldn’t be here today.”

Margi Jenkins, RUH Critical Care Matron, said: “It’s a huge moment for all our staff every time one of our COVID-19 patients gets better and is able to leave intensive care. We’re so glad that Clare is recovering well and we’re incredibly grateful to Southern Co-op and their customers for this really generous donation.”

For more information on how Southern Co-op responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/covid-19-updates.

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