The remarkable efforts of centenarian charity walker Captain Tom Moore will be helping to brighten the lives of hospital patients and staff in North Wales during the coronavirus crisis.
So far, the war veteran has raised more than £28 million for NHS Charities Together after completing 100 laps of the garden at his daughter’s home in Bedfordshire ahead of his 100th birthday.
The money will be shared among the network of 170 NHS charities across the UK, including Awyr Las in North Wales.
And things could get even better because Captain Tom’s fundraising is set to smash through the £30 million mark as he and singer Michael Ball top the music charts with a new version of the iconic anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone.
All told, between Captain Tom and others, more than £80 million has been raised to date.
Kirsty Thomson, the deputy chair of NHS Charities Together and head of fundraising for Awyr Las says they have already received £35,000, with another grant due in the next two weeks.
She said: “I’m enormously proud to be involved in NHS Charities Together. The national campaign is helping every Health Trust and Health Board in the whole of the UK, ensuring local communities benefit from all the monies raised by Captain Tom and other high profile fundraisers.
“Our aim is to brighten the lives of hospital patients and people receiving health care in the community by supporting additional equipment, facilities, special projects, education and research that goes over and above what the NHS provides.
“Through Awyr Las people can support the ward, department or service that’s close to their heart anytime – and it’s front-line staff that make decisions on what is needed.
“We launched our COVID-19 Appeal just four weeks and have had an incredible response, especially with the additional support received through NHS Charities Together’s national COVID-19 Appeal.
“We’re always amazed by and hugely appreciate the generosity of our local communities, but we are especially grateful at this challenging time.
According to Kirsty, there is a fast-track scheme operating in North Wales so frontline staff can access additional funds through Awyr Las promptly for items that are urgently needed.
She added: “iPads and electronic devices have been funded, meaning patients can contact their families and relatives that they wouldn’t be able to see due to Covid-19 visiting restrictions.
“Staff are also able to buy small items like additional toiletries, extra food for staff and cover volunteers’ expenses. Or larger things, like extra white goods, and additional equipment and facilities.
“Our focus at the moment is on the immediate well-being for patients and NHS staff affected by COVID-19.
“But we are also considering how funds raised through our COVID-19 appeal can best be used to support strategic partnerships to help people after they leave hospital.”
“Colleagues are also looking at how donations can best help North Wales’ long term recovery, particularly around Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board ( BCUHB ) staff’s mental health support and additional mental health support in the community.”