Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity column

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They say that charity begins at home, and that is no more evident than here at Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity.

As Community and Events Fundraiser, it is a pleasure to have such a wonderful community of supporters right on my doorstep, inside Harrogate and District NHS

Foundation Trust (HDFT), with members of staff from across the Trust getting involved in fundraising activity to improve the environment and facilities for the patients they care for.

Having been given an outstanding rating by the Quality Care Commission for the care we provide here at HDFT, it is clear that we are blessed with amazing staff that do their utmost to provide the best possible care to our patients. Unbeknown to many, though, is the amount of additional time that many staff members in the hospital give to fundraise for Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity; raising money to enhance the facilities and improve the environment within their wards and departments, over and above what can be funded through an ever tightening NHS budget.

Just last month, 55 members of the intensive care team, comprising doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dietitians, healthcare assistants and pharmacists took on the Total Warrior Challenge; a 12km run around Bramham Park, complete with 30 gruelling obstacles including 100 tons of mud, ice plunges, river walks and a leap over fire. Their motivation: to raise money to improve the environment in the rehabilitation rooms within the Intensive Care Unit at Harrogate District Hospital. They raised an astounding £10,000.

This is just one example. Members of staff from different parts of the hospital are giving up their time to take on a challenge, organise an event or coming up with ideas to raise funds all of the time.

Helping to improve facilities, create a better environment or help fund a piece of equipment within the hospital so that the people of Harrogate have a better experience when they come in for care and treatment.

In the past few months alone we have seen the fantastic Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre Ball, organised by a committee made up of mainly staff, raising money for the complimentary therapy service for cancer patients and their carers. A team from our Byland Ward took on the Nidderdale Walk, raising money to make the day room on the ward more dementia friendly and the maternity unit have just started fundraising to redevelop the bereavement suite on the ward, and at their first event raised over £2,500 to get them going.

It is inspiring to see the lengths that the fantastic staff here at HDFT will go to ensure that they can provide the best possible care to their patients. We are very lucky here in Harrogate to have such a dedicated team of people caring for us, all willing to go that extra step to make a difference. This inspiration is catching and it is clear that there is also an amazing community outside the hospital walls, getting involved and going to extraordinary lengths to support their local hospital.

They will get their mention next time, but for now – thank you to all the amazing staff at HDFT for going above and beyond for the people of Harrogate, and anyone else that needs care in our facilities across the community. Of course, don’t forget to come and meet us at the Friends of Harrogate Hospital’s annual Big Picnic event in Valley Gardens this Sunday, 4 July, from 12pm – 4pm. A number of wards have stalls to raise money for their areas along with the usual family entertainment. We would love to see you there.