The mental health of north-east health staff will be given a boost thanks to the fundraising efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Sir Tom captured the hearts of the nation with his fundraising efforts during the first lockdown when he walked 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday, raising more than £32 million for the NHS.
He died at Bedford Hospital on February 2 after testing positive for Covid-19.
Sir Tom’s contribution to NHS Grampian’s endowment fund was £238,000 with all of the cash going to help health service workers’ mental health.
Another £50,000 went to the AFC Community Trust for a new football-related programme, which will be launched to tackle two key issues by delivering a physical and mental health education initiative.
Families in targeted areas will be invited to take part in the project and work towards increasing their physical activity, becoming more resilient and strengthening their mental health.
Sheena Lonchay, operations manager at the NHS Grampian endowment fund paid tribute to the late Army captain who helped raise so much money for the NHS despite the pandemic.
She said: “Captain Sir Tom raised an unprecedented amount of money for NHS charities which enabled us to take forward our Staff Haven project, knowing that the funding was there. However, Captain Tom’s influence was more than that. He harnessed the nation’s love and respect for the NHS and encouraged local companies, organisations and individuals to support local NHS charities which they did so generously. Our links with the community have also since developed and real partnerships have forged.
“The legacy of Captain Sir Tom’s money for the staff haven project is so far helping to define and create many dedicated areas for staff to recharge. These special spaces will include comfy recliners and sofas for staff to relax in creating a more uplifting environment.
“Each space or room will be decorated with calming colours, with artwork or photography on display making the spaces less clinical. Captain Sir Tom’s fundraising efforts has also been extended to health centres and community hospitals that will see the canteens and staff rooms improved. The staff haven project will also transform green spaces that will include picnic benches for staff to enjoy their lunch or tea break in the fresh air.
“We all salute Captain Sir Tom for his incredible fundraising efforts, his inspiring message of hope and for the establishment of The Captain Tom Foundation. He has left an unforgettable and remarkable legacy that is already helping to build pathways to supporting our patients in our communities across Grampian.”
NHS Grampian Endowment Fund is the charity which safeguards donations made by patients, families and users of health services.
It led the comfort box campaign to make sure doctors, nurses and other health service staff had a container full of goods.