Marie Curie Nurse attends to patient

ESO Community Fund supports hospitals and local healthcare providers

This year, our community fund is supporting 18 charities across the UK, helping them with their work to support communities throughout Covid-19.

Six of the charities we are supporting this year are hospitals, hospices and healthcare providers. The last year has given us all a renewed appreciation to healthcare providers, who have worked so hard to support our communities throughout the pandemic.

Colleagues from across the ESO applied for funding for charitable organisations that mean something to them and the six health charities that we are supporting this year are:

One charity that many of our colleagues support and have experience with is Birmingham Children’s hospital. Joan O’Leary, Philanthropy Assistant from the hospital said, “During the past 12 months more so than ever coming into hospital has been a frightening and anxious time both for our patients and their families.”

We are thrilled that the ESO has been awarded one of Birmingham Hospital’s prestigious red balloons to recognise the support they have received. As the ESO, we are proud to support such charities, especially during these difficult times.

The pandemic has been a scary and challenging time for most of us and as well as physical health support, we are grateful for the mental and social support that organisations have provided in our communities.

Joan explained, “funding for our Play Team has really helped them to provide ongoing reassurance for our patients and helped them cope with the exacerbation that the Pandemic has added to their visits and stays. We have been able to equip our Play Staff with the technology including iPads and laptops they need to continue to deliver their services at a safe distance (for example zoom calls to children in isolation).”

During the past 12 months more so than ever coming into hospital has been a frightening and anxious time both for our patients and their families.

Marie Curie provides care and support through terminal illness and is a charity that many of our colleagues endorse. This year’s fund is supporting the Solihull Marie Curie Hospice. Amy McNaughton-Brown, Fundraising Engagement Lead for the West Midland’s Hospice explained “Marie Curie have been on the front line throughout the pandemic, caring for those who are dying in their homes or in our Hospice, and supporting their loved ones through very difficult times. We could not provide this care if we didn’t have the correct PPE to protect the staff and patients.

“We are extremely grateful to the staff at ESO for this generous donation that will fund enough PPE for our entire Midlands Marie Curie nursing service to each make 40 visits (per nurse) to patients in their own home. The donation will also enable us to purchase iPads for our virtual services, which will be utilised by our bereavement teams to set up virtual support groups for adults and young people who are grieving, and also for our day hospice patients to attend online therapies and consultations that would usually take place face to face.”

Another hospice that we are supporting is Saint Michael’s Hospice. Saint Michael's exists to help people with terminal illness to live and die well, by offering specialist care, comfort and support, free of charge, to patients and their families. Supporting our community to access high quality care at home has never been more important, and since the pandemic began Saint Michael’s has helped 120% more people affected by terminal illness and bereavement.

Chief executive of Saint Michael’s Hospice, Tony Collins said: “We are delighted to be a beneficiary of the National Grid ESO community fund. This grant will mean we can reach more people, with increased efficiency, by helping to fund a vital pool car for our team of Health Care Assistants to travel across the largely rural Harrogate district to support families in their own homes. We believe that hospice care is for everyone, and we are committed to ensuring that it is accessible to as many people as possible in our community, when and where they need it.”

If you would like to know more about the ESO community fund, click here.