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Leeds Hospitals Charity pivots generous gifts in kind into financial donations during pandemic

Leeds Hospitals Charity (previously Leeds Cares) is the charity partner of Leeds Teaching Hospitals. They aim to build on the already amazing work of the NHS, supporting over 18,000 doctors, nurses and healthcare workers across the hospitals.

The charity aims to ease the constant pressure on NHS services by funding things that make all the difference, but that the NHS doesn’t provide. This can include extra equipment, facilities, research, education, people and support – all of which in turn help NHS workers provide the very best care to patients and their families.

We spoke to Laura Webb, Head of Corporate Partnerships to find out more.

Leeds Hospitals Charity Nurse with a patient

Leeds Hospitals Nurse talks to a patient

Growing Community

In April 2020, Leeds Hospitals Charity like many others saw the outpouring of love for the NHS. As a result they were inundated with deliveries of hot meals and other Gifts in Kind from local businesses wanting to do what they could for the hospital staff who were working tirelessly.

This generosity was greatly appreciated, but the team knew that the best way to support the hospital was through generating a steady flow of cash income. They were regularly being approached by businesses wanting to do more and needed a way to build on this momentum.

“Everyone we spoke to said, ‘we want to keep helping, but we don’t know how’, so we used Work For Good to give supporters a way of making a huge difference to our NHS heroes, as soon as they needed it. This was easy and could work for any business in Leeds - right down to small sole traders – so they could support at whatever level they felt possible.”

The team created the #ThankfulThursdays campaign which asked local businesses to donate a percentage of their sales on any Thursday in 2020. In doing so, this helped to keep up the momentum in the local community and give businesses a flexible way to support when they reopened.

People have been very grateful to have an easy way of supporting the hospital and feeling like their donation put together with other businesses can actually go a little bit further. Having the Commercial Participation Agreement in place, they are able to promote their support on their social channels very easily and show how they are supporting us.

Stewarding their business supporters online was a way that was both consistent and efficient for their small team.

“Before using Work for Good, all the stewardship of small business supporters was managed directly by our small team. It wasn’t always the best use of our time. It's been really helpful having the platform to manage all of that process on our behalf.”

Although the pandemic continues to be a testing time for everyone at the hospital, the charity continues to be humbled by the power of their local community.

“People are so passionate about their local hospitals as everyone uses the hospital or knows people that have been in there. As a regional charity the last six months has outlined the importance of engaging with smaller grass roots businesses and making the process as flexible and easy as possible.”

“Working with small businesses is very much going to be something we continue to do. We’ve really liked creating a campaign on the platform and it lends itself really well to create several campaigns throughout a year, focusing in on a seasonal time or a particular appeal that’s come in from the hospitals.”

To find out more about Leeds Hospitals Charity you can visit their Work for Good page here.