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Thank You

During these unprecedented times, there's been enormous support and generosity from local people towards the NHS - from children drawing rainbows to the Thursday evening 'clap for carers' - the sense of our community pulling together behind those delivering and supporting front line care has been inspiring.

The goodwill directed to the staff and patients at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, which includes Darlington Memorial Hospital, University Hospital of North Durham, Bishop Auckland Hospital and five community hospitals, came in many forms, from local educational establishments, and others, giving their own supplies of PPE (personal protective equipment), to late night pizza deliveries and over 3,300 financial donations - plus three grants totalling over £300,000.

Pat Chambers, the Trust's Charity Manager, says, "Our charitable funds are used to enhance patient care and wellbeing in all sorts of ways and we'd like to offer a huge thank you to everyone who contributed - every penny and every thoughtful delivery helped.  For instance, we purchased large recliner chairs for staff areas we created within our restaurants - they're incredibly popular with those in need of a little time away.  We also purchased 72 iPads for wards, enabling patients unable to receive visitors to keep in touch with loved ones - families felt reassured being able to see the patient rather than just speaking to them on the phone.  We also purchased conferencing equipment so that during the rapidly evolving situation, colleagues based at different sites could 'meet' to coordinate plans.

"It's often the little things that mean the most and we received several thousand Easter Eggs - including over 1300 from the Dolphin Centre in Darlington. Many teams across frontline and support services worked the Bank Holidays, so knowing they were in peoples thoughts meant a lot.

"Morrisons, Holland & Barrett, Rockcliffe Hall Hotel and Ramside Hall Hotel donated generous 'goody bags' and essentials including toothpaste and toothbrushes for patients admitted without them.

"The amazing people in local sewing groups helped supplement our supply of scrubs and also made over 3000 laundry bags for our clinical staff to take scrubs home to be washed- unbelievable generosity and kindness!

"Much of our fundraising traditionally takes place by holding or attending large scale events, which isn't possible at the moment and, as we really don't know when it may be possible again we're trying to finding new ways to fundraise.  We're also more dependent than ever on individuals and businesses raising money for us - if you think you can help, we'd love to hear from you."

To contact the Charity Team: Phone: 01325 743781. Email: