News Second Wave Support With the hope that the first shoots of spring bring, it feels like a good time to reflect on the past few difficult months in our hospitals and how you – our wonderful supporters - have continued to be by our side. January and February of this year saw more than double the number of COVID patients in our hospitals than during the first peak, with staff weary from months of relentless work. We know that for our patients - and local community too - this has been an incredibly tough period, one which we’re all hoping we are on the brink of leaving behind. And thanks to your fundraising and donations the charity has been able to keep providing the kind of support that really makes a difference. We learned a lot from last spring and used that knowledge to keep giving staff in our hospitals a positive boost, whilst also proving the practical support patients needed. Our charity team has talked to staff in our hospitals every day, asking ‘what do you need, how can we help?’ And sometimes the simplest of things have made the biggest difference. So fruit baskets, little cakes, pizzas for the toughest of shifts, and care packs have gone in every week to remind NHS teams that, although the county was no longer on their doorsteps clapping, our local community was still thinking of them. Your kind donations have often included heartfelt messages of thanks and support – and we printed some onto postcards which were popped into staff rooms to raise a smile. And you have helped us fund respite spaces for staff most affected by the intensity of recent weeks – to give them a moment of calm to breathe more deeply. These spaces, spread across the hospitals, are calm and comfortable - used by staff during their breaks or at the end of a long shift to ‘decompress’. We hope to create some permanent Wellbeing Hubs going forward because we have learned they have had such a positive impact for staff. And bringing a little cheer has been key for our patients too. We learned last year that we could still bring live music to our wards, using virtual technology. So patients - often those who are older and most isolated - have received personalised concerts and a chat, all done using the power of zoom and iPads funded by the charity. Keeping minds busy, when visiting has been so restricted, has also been the goal of our patient activity packs. These goody bags contain quizzes and puzzles, playing cards, and drawing materials, alongside a few little treats that make time in hospital that little bit easier. We have also funded specialist medical kit to help during these complex days – including covid rehabilitation equipment for occupational therapists and communication rehab resources for speech and language and occupational therapists – all helping long-term covid patients on the road to recovery. Our charity has been here a long time working in our hospitals – and it’s never been more intense than these past twelve months. There’s lots more to do – there always is in our hospitals – but it feels important to pause and say a proper thank you for the support we have received. And we have so many people to thank – the incredible volunteers who help us deliver the support, the amazing local businesses who have been generous with their discounts and so clever with the complicated logistics involved. But most of all you - our incredible community of supporters. Your donations and fundraising efforts have fuelled all our work and allowed us to reach across every corner of our hospitals. Thank you to each and every one of you. You have made a difference. To find out more about how Oxford Hospitals Charity makes a difference across the wards and departments of your local hospitals, get in touch with the team via the methods below. Tel: 01865 743 444 Email: [email protected] MAKE A DONATION NOW OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT Do remember to tick the Gift Aid box if you are a UK taxpayer, as that will increase your donation by 25 percent.