M&S stores across South-London* have been raising funds for NHS Charities Together over the last few months and customers have already raised over £189,400.
All money raised for NHS Charities Together goes towards helping local communities, and Lambeth and Southwark-based NHS charity, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity is one of a number of recipients of a recent donation. The vital funds have supported a staff at both Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust through several wellbeing initiatives.
During the early stages of the pandemic, the donations helped to provide a pop-up emergency food supplies service that over 400 staff accessed in the first day alone. The donations also helped to subsidise meals in hospital canteens by 50% for staff working in the hospitals and visiting from the London Ambulance Service.
The Trust also created ‘wellbeing zones’, to supply a safe and comfortable space for staff to talk and rest after difficult shifts and receive messages of gratitude and support from the local community. They also provide access to vital support and training including online and face-to-face counselling from wellbeing advisers and mental health first aiders; sessions with trained mediators to reduce stress and strengthen colleague relationships; and vital specialist coaching sessions to help staff manage conversations with families of COVID-19 patients.
M&S’s partnership with NHS Charities Together, has so far raised over £7.4million** across the UK for NHS good causes.
Donations from M&S have been raised through a number of initiatives, including the retailer’s Rainbow Sale (where 10% of each purchase, excluding VAT, is donated to NHS Charities Together), limited edition NHS Charities Together Bags for Life, M&S’s All in This Together T-shirts and through one-off donations at the till points. Throughout August, customers will continue to have the opportunity to donate to NHS Charities Together.
Simon Lucas, Head of Region for M&S Central London said: “Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust plays an essential role supporting the London community and we can’t thank them enough for their incredible efforts over the past few months. We’re thrilled to share the donations raised so far at our store, and look forward to raising more funds this month with our customers support.”
Valerie Boso, Staff Nurse and Volunteer Wellbeing Advisor at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said: “Staff across Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals have faced so many new challenges because of the pandemic. They’ve not only been caring for extremely sick patients every day but many have also been redeployed to new areas of the hospital that they were unfamiliar with, whilst dealing with feelings of worry and uncertainty in their personal lives, something we have all felt during the pandemic. The wellbeing zones have been an essential resource for so many members of the team and we’d like to thank M&S customers and colleagues across London for their generous donations which have helped this happen.”
NHS Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust provides essential care and support for the London community. Running for over 27 years, they support over 2.6 million people each year, specialising in cancer, renal, orthopaedic and cardiovascular services. It is also home to the largest dental school in Europe and a £160 million Cancer Centre which opened in 2016. St Thomas’ is one of the busiest emergency departments in London and has one of the largest critical care units in the UK.