Award recognition for workforce support thanks to covid appeal

On 24th March 2022
Categories: 2022

We are delighted to be attending the HSJ Partnership Awards 2022 today, where we have been shortlisted for the Workforce and Wellbeing Initiative of the Year award for the support our Covid-19 Urgent Appeal has provided NHS staff and volunteers.

NHS staff have faced relentless pressures throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, from concerns about passing the virus on to loved ones, to saying goodbye to patients and colleagues. This has understandably had a detrimental effect on mental health and wellbeing.

Thanks to the public’s overwhelming support of our Covid-19 Appeal, we have been able to work with a network of NHS charities across the UK to support staff through these difficult times. Together, we have funded over 400 projects to support staff wellbeing, from designated areas to rest during busy shifts, to counselling and peer-to-peer support. We are so proud that this work is being recognised by this year’s HSJ Partnership Awards, as it has enabled staff to continue with their vital work during one of the most challenging times in NHS history.

One of these staff projects is the TRiM project at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, made possible thanks to a grant that we awarded to County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Charity.

The funding has meant the charity could train 53 staff volunteers from the Trust to provide peer support and interventions that prevent mental health issues from worsening into extreme trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The project has been a big success, with an increasing number of workforce volunteers wanting to support their colleagues.

Pat Chambers, Charity Development Manager at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Charity said:

“Funding from NHS Charities Together has made a huge difference to me and colleagues – we couldn’t have done what we have done without it. Staff have been working long hours and experiencing emotional extremes, including huge levels of guilt and trauma. Our small staff wellbeing team couldn’t cope alone with the scale of the challenge which is why extra support from NHS charities made all the difference.”

Paula Brennan is a Volunteer TRiM Practitioner and also works at County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust as the Patient Experience Manager. Paula works with colleagues to talk through how Covid has impacted them and their work, and to help them process the emotions that have resulted from these challenges.

Paula said:

“As a non-clinical member of staff I wanted to be able to help. Volunteering for TRiM has helped me to make a difference and to support clinical colleagues who were experiencing extreme guilt and emotional turmoil. I’ve already made three staff referrals, helping to prevent issues escalating and causing PTSD. It is so rewarding to support colleagues and to see such positive results.”

The grant has also supported:

  • Wellbeing spaces, equipment and food and drink to keep staff going during long shifts.
  • Work towards the recruitment of on an in-house staff counsellor.
  • A staff choir, which has seen a huge boost to staff morale.

Support our work

NHS Charities Together is in it for the long term to support NHS staff, volunteers and patients as the NHS recovers from the most challenging time in its history.

With your support, we can continue working alongside NHS charities across the UK to make sure our health service thrives for future generations.

Together, we can help the NHS go further and achieve better health and care for us all.

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