St Richard's Hospital staff being delivered gifts funded by public donations

Staff at St Richard's Hospital will receive flowers this evening (Thursday, April 23), as part of an initiative set up in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff at St Richard's who had just received a surprise delivery of Easter Eggs
Staff at St Richard's who had just received a surprise delivery of Easter Eggs

Hug A Hospital (HAH), set up as a crowdfunding campaign, buys metaphorical hugs for hospitals to raise morale across all hospital staff.

It was started by Fernhurst resident Emma Black, Georgie Parr, Harriet Eastwood and Katy de Laszlo to raise money for hospitals, 'big and small'.

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Emma said: "Hug A Hospital is here to stay as we hope to be giving out these metaphoric hugs long after the crisis as we recognise that there will be great need for support regarding the fallout from this crisis on hospital staff mental health.

Hospital staff enjoying soups and puddings sourced & delivered by Hug A Hospital.

"This Thursday, we have organised with St Richard's Hospital, Chichester to deliver bunches of flowers to hospital staff as they leave from their day shift at 7.30 to 8pm. We are especially pleased as this will coincide with the clap.

"We are a very personal crowdfunding initiative to supply hospitals with metaphorical hugs in order to raise morale in their hospital staff, and remind them that the communities surrounding them love them, appreciate and support all their courageous work."

Emma said these 'hugs' come in 'all shapes and sizes', ranging from; fruit and vegetable boxes; freshly baked treats; Easter eggs; soups and puddings; bottles of water; beanbags; wireless speakers and handcream — many of which have been received at St Richard's.

She added: "We also are contacting schools, friends and family to send in thank you pictures for their children and we then send them on to the hospitals or include them in our deliveries as another metaphoric hug."

Emma said these 'hugs' come in 'all shapes and sizes', ranging from; fruit and vegetable boxes; freshly baked treats; Easter eggs; soups and puddings; bottles of water; beanbags; wireless speakers and handcream

The HAH volunteers started working initially with local hospitals but the community support and reach of the scheme is 'extending to hospitals further and further afield'.

They are now being 'sought out' by individuals and companies who are looking for help to connect with and support hospitals.

A spokesperson said: "The HAH team speak to the hospitals and the staff within them to find out how they can make their lives easier; help them feel loved;supported and appreciated by the outside world; and so, raise morale.

"This starts with the basics such as fresh food and produce and really focuses on the surprise extras and treats that are uplifting for those who are tired, giving their all and for whom a show of support means so much.

Car full of Easter eggs donated by Waitrose for the hospitals

"HAH crowdfund to generate the money and having sourced a hospital’s need, purchase the goods and organise delivery of this metaphorical hug."

HAH said the different ways that people are wanting to get involved and help is 'so heartening'.

To donate to Hug A Hospital, please visit the crowdfunding page here.

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