Questions about Raise

Here are a few frequently asked questions about Raise and some answers which should help. Please contact us by emailing office@raisewestherts.org.uk if you have any questions that are not answered here.

Where does the money go?

A very good question indeed! In fact Raise supports a variety of work across the three West Hertfordshire NHS hospitals. There are five areas in which we do this:

Holding handsPatients and families: Supporting patients is at the core of our work, providing funding for specialist services, equipment and comforts that complement existing NHS-funded services. Our news page includes stories about projects we have funded.

The latest technology: Medical equipment evolves at a speed with which the NHS cannot always keep pace, and using charitable funds to buy equipment can help ensure that patients receive the best care possible, using the latest technologies.

Healing spaces: Calm surroundings can reduce stress during an anxious visit to hospital and can also aid recovery. But pressures on the NHS mean that improvements can be difficult to fund without detracting from patient care. A recent example of how charitable funding has made a difference is a grant of £34,500 to install an accessible new bathroom on Starfish Children’s Ward, which had previously been without suitable bathing facilities. We believe that our young patients’ experiences of visiting the unit will be improved, whilst protecting their dignity.

Developing staff: We support initiatives to develop the skills and well-being of staff at our three great hospitals, helping them further their knowledge and enabling them to provide even better care. Our news page includes stories about training we have funded.

Greatest Need: With our greatest need fund, we can support projects across our hospitals; meeting patients’ care needs, wherever and whenever they arise. For example, in 2018 we partnered with Kissing It Better to deliver a wide range of activities to provide company, stimulation and support to patients, especially those who have long stays in hospital.

What exactly is Raise?

Raise is the charity specifically set up to raise funds for and support the three NHS hospitals in West Hertfordshire. Raise was founded and registered as a charity in 1995 and was known, until 2018, as West Hertfordshire Hospitals Charity. Raise is currently run by a Charity Committee, made up of representatives of West Hertfordshire NHS Trust (WHHT), which is the charity’s corporate trustee. The charity supports the three NHS hospitals in Watford, Hemel Hempstead, and St Albans.

Where can I learn more?

You can learn more about Raise and our work by:

How can I make a donation?

We were hoping you’d ask that! Please visit our donations page, it’s very easy to help.

Who’s Who?

Raise has a small team of paid staff (the Executive team) led by the Charity Director. This is currently Ms Sofia Sheikh who was appointed in December 2019.

The governing body is the WHHT Charity Committee which consists of:

Professor Steve Barnett, Chair at WHHT (Chair)
Christine Allen, Chief Executive WHHT
Helen Brown, Deputy Chief Executive WHHT
Professor Tracey Carter, Chief Nurse WHHT
Don Richards, Chief Financial Officer WHHT (Treasurer)
Michael van der Watt, Medical Director WHHT
Jonathan Rennison, Senior Independent Director WHHT
Paul Cartwright, Non-Executive Director WHHT
Virginia Edwards, Non-Executive Director WHHT
John Brougham, Non-Executive Director WHHT
Phil Townsend (Vice Chair, Non-Executive Director WHHT)

Please note that positions are those held at WHHT, not at the charity.

What are the Raise contact details?

Email (the best way of contacting us) office@raisewestherts.org.uk

Raise Hospital Charity
Room 1:16 Willow House
Watford General Hospital
Watford WD18 0HB

Telephone 01923 436177

What about privacy and data?

Raise has a comprehensive privacy policy which is published at this link.

How do I make a complaint?

The best way to raise an issue if you have one is informally in the first instance, by telephoning the office and asking to speak to the Charity Director. Most complaints and queries can be resolved informally.

If you need to make a more formal complaint, please do so in the first instance by emailing the Charity Director referring to any informal discussions and making it clear that you are complaining formally. We will respond within 14 days.

We are regulated by the Charity Commission for England and Wales and by The Fundraising Regulator.

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