Two nurses hugging

15.03.21 Cavell Nurses' Trust & Imperial College

Coachmakers provide vital support to worthy causes

Two of the charities we have assisted during this pandemic year have written to express their thanks for our much-needed support during a difficult time.

Dear Sarah,

In 2020 the The Worshipful The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers very generously supported Cavell Nurses’ Trust with two donations totalling £7,500 towards our support of nursing professionals in need, for which we are very grateful.

The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on all our lives, and your donations couldn’t have come at a more important time. After the UK went into lockdown in mid-March, Cavell Nurses’ Trust experienced an exponential growth in demand for its financial support from nursing professionals of all ages and backgrounds, directly or indirectly affected by the virus, and as the graph below demonstrates, demand remained higher than normal throughout the year:

Bar chart to show Welfare Grants 2019 & 2020 compared

We have been encouraged by the response of individuals, companies and trusts as well as organisations with a strong philanthropic tradition, such as yourselves. Thanks to our shared belief in the importance of looking after the nursing and midwifery professionals we rely on to look after us, we were able to make grants of nearly £800,000 last year.

“I’m grateful and blessed for the single grant awarded to me. I’m so thankful for the amount to help with the expenses for my daughter’s operation and as a single parent with no family around has been so hard. But with your help you made it easier and I know you helped loads of health care professionals like me. Thank you so much”

“I am grateful for the support given to me during these challenging times. It’s good to know that as nurses we can find some well needed help and my confidence has been boosted. I was not sure how to go about it as I’ve never asked for help like this before but you were very professional and sensitively assisted me through the process.”

Over the last ten months, our team has worked harder than ever to process the larger number of applications for funds. We have invested in additional in-house support and made the application assessment process quicker. Many nursing professionals who have sought our support either have had Coronavirus or have had to self-isolate because of it, but the impact of the pandemic on nursing professionals’ financial stability has been far wider reaching, as these examples demonstrate (details have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals concerned):

Person B’s partner passed away and they have several young children. B worked as a nurse for well over a decade and has a diagnosis of a chronic, serious health condition and as a result was unable to work for quite some time following the start of the Covid19 pandemic on the advice of the occupational therapist at hospital B works at. At the time of support B was unable to get the treatment to help their symptoms because of the cancellation of all non-urgent appointments. As a single parent to several children, B relies on the additional overtime shifts which B does on a regular basis to meet financial obligations and provide for the family. At the time of support B did not know when they would be authorised to return to work and, with the additional cost of several children at home, was struggling. Cavell made an award of £1,000 to help with daily living expenses during the shielding period.

Person E is married with several young children. E’s partner has a cancer diagnosis and was undergoing chemotherapy at the start of the Covid19 pandemic. As a result, E’s partner was advised to shield and E had to limit the shifts they worked in order to reduce the chance of infecting their partner which could have a devastating impact. E said that they had been supporting the family since E’s partner’s diagnosis last year and the fact E could not work additional shifts, meant that bills were becoming unmanageable. Cavell made an award of £1,200 to help towards the family’s daily living expenses.

Person C is a single person with children who has worked as a Healthcare Assistant for many years. They had struggled with mental health difficulties up to early 2020 but was back at work at the time the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. Unfortunately C contracted Covid-19 and, as they had used all of their occupational sick pay earlier in the year, was left having to apply for benefits and without enough money to feed the children. A grant from Cavell Nurses’ Trust helped C through this difficult period.

How 2021 has started

The need for our help in January 2021 was approximately 50% higher than the previous year and we had matched the value of grants given in the whole of February 2020 by the first five days of February 2021.

So it’s clear that as we have started 2021 with a lockdown, with tens of thousands in hospital and continuing disruption to our daily lives, demand for grant support remains consistently high.

In this climate it is therefore essential that Cavell remains on hand, with the funds available, to support nursing professionals in need.
Moreover the national economic downturn and many jobs being at risk will undoubtedly impact the households of nursing and midwifery staff across the country.

Our research shows that 77% of nursing and midwifery staff are unprepared for a financial crisis, with half of nursing professionals having less than £500 to survive on in an emergency.

Despite these challenges, we remain confident that we will come through this difficult time with the same resilience and determination shown by the nursing professionals we support each year. Please accept our sincere thanks once again and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me directly.

With our best wishes and appreciation.
John Orchard
Chief Executive, Cavell Nurses’ Trust

We have also had a kind letter of thanks from Imperial College London, which reads as follows:

Dear Commander Leaning,

Please let me express my deep appreciation for The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers & Coach Harness Makers gift of £30,000 to the Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Fund in support of hardship funding for engineering students.

The pandemic has had a profound impact on our student community and is placing a great deal of pressure on the finances of many. Hardship funds offer a lifeline for those who are struggling to meet the costs of their studies, providing unconditional financial support with no requirement for it to be repaid.

Your gift will fund hardship payments for students encountering unexpected financial difficulties, ensuring they are able to continue studying regardless of their circumstances.

Thank you for helping us to fulfil the ever-changing needs of the College community. We look forward to updating you about the impact of your generosity in the months to come.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Murphy
Vice President (Advancement)