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Public donations help local communities across Devon


Donations made to support the NHS during the COVID 19 pandemic are reaching local communities across the county.

Eight local organisations – including our Digital Health Devon project – are receiving a share of £534,639 allocated to Devon as part of the NHS Charities Together Community Partnership Grants Programme – formed as a result of NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal launched in March 2020. The Appeal has raised over £140 million.

Grants issued to NHS charities throughout the pandemic have provided vital help to patients, staff and volunteers on the frontline at the most critical of times, including bereavement support for
patients, counselling for staff, research into Long COVID, specialist equipment, and funding for thousands of emergency response volunteers.

£30 million has been set aside to fund projects that support effective partnerships between the NHS and its community partners. The aim of these grants is to improve the health for communities
adversely affected by COVID-19 and to help alleviate pressure on frontline NHS services whilst it responds to the pandemic both now and as we recover.

Plymouth Hospitals Charity was nominated as lead charity for Devon and has been working closely with NHS Charities across the county to identify community partners. Eight community organisations have been successful in becoming Delivery Partners and will deliver a range of projects from
September. The funding will support these projects for two years.

The Delivery Partners are Step One Charity, Living Options Devon, Torbay Community Development Trust, BASICS Devon, Devon Community Foundation, One Northern Devon, Rowcroft Hospice and us here at Healthwatch Torbay & Engaging Communities South West – who manage the Digital Health Devon project. Volunteers will be a key part of delivering the projects and ensure support is available for people within their own communities.

We will use the funding for our Digital Health Devon project to offer free guidance showing people how they can use online healthcare resources such as online hospital video consultation services.

All our e-learning resource pages are open and free to use without the need to register, with a unique search feature option which allows people to filter by location or by category. You can view their selection of e-learning resources by clicking here.

We have fantastic volunteer Digital ‘trainers’ who donate their time to helping local people with their digital queries. This could be via regular weekly online ‘virtual drop-in sessions’ using Zoom or even 1-to-1 advice and guidance either over the phone, via email or webchat on the Digital Health Devon website. We will also be looking to regularly host physical drop-in sessions for patients in all of Devon’s General Hospitals as we all recover from the pandemic. To view all of our upcoming events, please click here.

Kevin Baber, Director of Strategy said: “It has been a privilege for our NHS charity to lead on this work with NHS Charities Together and the other five NHS Charities in Devon, to develop initiatives with the voluntary sector. The organisations chosen as Delivery Partners to receive this funding, are all supporting patients with projects ranging from improved hospital discharge pathways, expansion to the Hospice at Home service, emergency frontline community interventions and vaccination initiatives for isolated or vulnerable people or those disproportionately affected by Covid-19. We also wanted to offer support for mental health and well-being. We look forward to working collaboratively with all our partners over the next two years to develop long-lasting partnerships that will support the wider NHS and voluntary and community organisations in dealing with the impact of Covid-19”

For more information contact Plymouth Hospitals Charity by emailing or calling 01752 430332. Further detail about the funding and projects are available by clicking here.