NHS Charities Together £50,000 grant for Raise

Socially distanced BAME meetup

In COVID times, Connect is linking BAME staff at Watford General Hospital

Raise is very pleased to have received confirmation of funding from NHS Charities Together for an exciting new project working with Connect, the West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) network for staff from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

NHS Charities Together (NHSCT) is the umbrella charity for NHS charities across the UK, of which Raise has been a long standing member. NHSCT has been the focus of the outpouring of support from the British public for our NHS over the last few months, and has received many millions of pounds in donations, including over £30m from the famous efforts of Captain Sir Thomas Moore. NHSCT is now in the process of distributing those funds, some of which has simply been allocated to the various NHS charities and some of which is being used to fund specific projects.

Marsha Jones

Marsha Jones of Connect was the driver behind the new project

Raise submitted an application for £50,000 to fund Connect over the next three years, including staff costs and a significant investment in training. The balance of the project funding, which is budgeted at £90,000, is to be provided by WHHT.

As is well documented, people from non-white backgrounds are more susceptible to COVID-19 and more likely to suffer serious consequences  if the disease is contracted. Over 40% of the WHHT workforce is BAME and sadly, all 6 of the staff members to have died as a result of COVID-19 have been from BAME communities.

David Head, from Raise, said “The charity is very pleased to support the important work of Connect. This funding will go some way to providing the support that WHHT staff need both during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and in the longer term. If a stronger support network can be built, it is something we will be very proud to have contributed to.”

Ruth Paterson, Specialist Projects Manager at Raise, will be liaising closely with Connect over the next few weeks and months. Ruth said, “This is really exciting to have been able to facilitate funds for a dedicated coordinator to support the #teamwestherts BAME network.  It’s fantastic to see the public donations to NHSCT turning aspirations into reality”.

Both Connect and Raise will be issuing more news as the project unfolds, in the meantime the contact email for any enquiries from BAME staff is westherts.bamestaffnetwork@nhs.net.