Your help is vital to boost GWH cash
WITH work under way on transforming the Great Western Hospital’s Emergency Department, fundraising manager Hannah Persaud has told how people can pitch in to raise vital funds for the hospital.
Even though the refurbishment of the ED is funded by the GWH NHS Foundation Trust’s budget, funds are still required to provide some added extras to make the whole experience even better.
The charitable fund Brighter Futures, which raises money for the whole trust, has been asked to raise as much money as possible to provide items like a flat screen TV in the children’s waiting area, embedded iPads with games to play on, a child-friendly refreshment stand and comfortable chairs.
Hannah said: “We don’t have a fundraising target, so if we raise £10,000 that would be great. If we raise £100,000 it just means we can do much more with that money.
“All the standard items have been covered by the trust so it is all the items that will make it slightly different and hopefully a better experience for the children and their families.
“Although we are keen to push for income at the moment, we are going to set up a small ongoing fund, almost like a children’s appeal fund, where people can constantly donate.
“Within ED if we invest in toys and books and those kinds of things quite often they get taken out by accident or go missing. So we need a fund or a pot of money so that we can re-buy all that stuff so there isn’t really a limit in terms of time.”
The charitable fund has existed for the last 10 years but in terms of pro-actively fundraising for it, that has been a much more recent development.
The fund receives a significant number of donations every year from the public - primarily current or past patients and their families.
Since Hannah started at the hospital a year ago, it has been her role to publicise the charity to receive more public support.
She has had a positive response and has some local companies including Nationwide on board, with lots of their staff doing challenge events such as the abseil off the top of the hospital.
The GWH is also starting to look at developing relationships with other charities, such as the British Heart Foundation, where they can mutually work together.
In 2011/12 the trust raised approximately £220,000 in donations, and this year it has had two huge legacies which came to around £500,000 alone.
Hannah said: “We get quite a lot of legacies and they are an amazing way to give and they make such a huge difference to the charity. A legacy can pay for a new piece of equipment that we could never afford otherwise.
“Quite a lot of people contact me and they do just want to go off and do their own thing and raise money for us, which is fantastic because it is an easy thing for people to do and easy for us.
“We also have things like the abseil or the London to Paris cycle ride where people can take part.
“All the donations essentially come in and are invested in developments in the trust that will make a positive difference to patients.
“The charitable fund uses donations to invest in additional equipment that might not be covered by the trust budget, so it is not essential equipment but it could be a piece of equipment that we want to pilot and see if it will be useful to roll out in the future.
“It also goes towards improvements to the environment, such as investment in patient waiting areas to make their experience more comfortable or investments in new ways of communicating with patients to make the whole process more efficient and reduce waiting lists.
“So there is a whole host of ways that the charitable fund does benefit patients.”
The hospital is looking at increasing the presence of the Brighter Futures charitable fund across Swindon but also in the hospital and in the next few months there will be ways where we make it easier for people to give donation envelopes in out-patient areas, information leaflets and posters.
The hospital has a charity abseil coming up on December 7 and 8 organised with Action For Children, who support vulnerable children across the UK.
The money is going to be split equally between money for the children’s emergency department area and Action for Children.
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