3rd January 2019
Jewish Care
30th June 2023

NHS fundraising campaign and assets produced during the coronavirus pandemic

UCLH Charity (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

UCLH Charity is the official charity supporting University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust. The charity aims to improve and enhance patient care at UCLH, with all donations supporting patients, staff, equipment and research.

During the coronavirus pandemic, UCLH, as with all NHS hospitals, came under tremendous strain in the provision of care. As well as the individual battles faced by patients in the Covid-19 wards, the hospital staff found themselves under increased levels of pressure and stress that most had never previously experienced. Nurses, doctors, porters and staff across a range of roles were working long shifts that were physically and emotionally draining, with the long-term effects of the trauma witnessed as yet unknown.

UCLH Charity responded to this by launching an emergency fundraising appeal, which was designed by Creative Clinic. The campaign was focused on raising funds to immediately improve the working environment, day to day experience and physical and mental health of staff working on Covid-19 wards.

Utilising a combination of printed posters in prime hospital positions and the charity’s social media channels, the ‘It’s not all rainbows’ campaign drew attention to the pressures staff were working under, whilst offering a hopeful message that donations made could immediately improve their lives.

By supporting the charity, donors could help fund a range of tangible benefits that the NHS or government would never be able to provide due to budget limitations, but which would make staff lives slightly easier, and long shifts more manageable. Items such as phone chargers, microwaves, fridges and calm respite areas provide comfort, convenience and escape – particularly when it isn’t possible for staff to leave high risk wards during a shift.

The lead campaign image was a doctor, fully dressed in PPE, with the headline ‘It’s not all rainbows’, which became the overarching theme of the campaign. This line was a direct reaction to the colourful rainbow drawings and graphics which were becoming synonymous with showing community support for the NHS.

The printed campaign consisted of four posters utilising bespoke photography of genuine hospital staff to ensure integrity and authenticity. This bespoke photoshoot was produced under the challenge of social distancing whilst wearing protective face coverings. The charity had the opportunity to place campaign posters in the front windows by the hospital entrance, a highly coveted media space within the Trust given the vast daily footfall through the doors. The digital aspect of the appeal was focused on why funds were needed and how donations were being spent on tangible items in order to improve staff health and wellbeing.

The aims of the campaign were:

  • Primarily to raise as much money as quickly as possible, with as little spend as possible in the light of the ensuing pandemic.
  • Raise awareness of the pressure UCLH staff were under, whilst demonstrating that donations could be quickly utilised to pay for items and activities that would have an immediate benefit. (Examples of this include more tea and coffee stations; a separate relaxation room with a comfy sofa to escape to during shift breaks; moisturising hand lotions to combat damage to skin caused by constant hand washing etc.)
  • To raise urgent funds that would enable the charity to utilise many of the gifts-in-kind that were being generously donated by corporate partners and local supporters, but which would potentially go to waste. (To expand on this, the charity was being gifted perishable food and drink but had nowhere to store it given the lack of fridges; similarly not enough microwaves to heat food, or bags to collate donated items that could be handed out to staff etc.)
  • To capitalise on the goodwill of the local community and growing national pride in, and support for, NHS frontline workers during the crisis.

As a result of this campaign and other fundraising activity forming part of the emergency appeal, the following and more was achieved:

  • £600,000 worth of personal and wellbeing items were distributed, including tea and coffee packs, t-shirts, hair dryers, lip balms and hand, body and face creams
  • £24,000 was allocated to complimentary therapies for staff, such as massages, dancing and Reiki
  • 6 coffee machines were placed in staff kitchens and staff rooms
  • 27 fridges were bought, delivered and installed
  • 25 microwaves were purchased and delivered to ITU and Covid wards
  • 8,200 goody bags and care kits were given out containing moisturisers, pampering products and practical items like power banks to boost staff morale
  • 4,000 phone chargers were handed out
  • 103,000 prepared meals per day were delivered to UCLH staff
  • 2 staff rooms were refurbished providing staff respite
  • 1 calm staff wellbeing area was furnished
  • 6 on-call overnight rooms were refurbished so junior doctors and nurses can rest well and be on site when needed