Healthcare’s at the heart
Simplyhealth has been at the heart of our community for over 148 years. Volunteering and supporting local groups to help those most in need is a crucial part of why we exist as a business. And in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, it’s more valuable than ever.
Keeping mental health front of mind
Over the past three years, we‘ve provided much-needed support for three healthcare charities. Andover Mind with their youth counselling service in Andover and Winchester schools; Unity with their social prescribing project supporting five GP practices in Andover; and I Can, with their power-assisted gym equipment, helping people with limited mobility to exercise.
Helping people feel part of the community and avoiding isolation is a big part of maintaining good mental health. This is an area that’s close to our heart as a company as we believe that being resilient and feeling connected can help us all get through this challenging time.
With this in mind, we’ve decided to continue to support Andover Mind, with a donation of £10,000. This can enable them to provide even more counselling for the most vulnerable people. Andover Mind is making contact with isolated and at-risk people including carers. They’ve been trying new approaches to counselling including an online solution, as they extend the ways people can get in touch. They’re also trying one-off first assessment sessions for young people who need to talk. They’ll be monitoring the engagement and expanding their support to parents with stress and anxiety issues.
Putting the ‘Unity’ in community
Another initiative we feel reaches the most vulnerable is the Unity response. Consisting of a team of volunteers, the support charity has created a helpline and co-ordinated response for Test Valley residents who are self-isolating or at high risk to the virus. The helpline, a Community Hub determined as critical by the Government, is a way for these people to get help with collecting prescriptions or running errands.
Unity has developed and is maintaining a database of businesses and local groups, providing help as well as recruiting their own volunteers, to fill in gaps where groups may not exist yet. Their main aim is to receive referrals and direct them to local organisations. They’re doing this with a number of partners including TVBC, Romsey Emergency Planning Group, Daley Hub, Andover Radio and local parishes.
Unity has nearly 400 volunteers of its own giving their support, but there are over 60 groups and parishes who are working with them to make this co-ordinated approach work. We’ll be providing them with £10,000 to help them fulfil this fantastic cause and make a difference to many more lives during this isolation period.
Helping the homeless keep well with Trinity Winchester
Many people who are sleeping rough have underlying health conditions, meaning that they’re at greater risk of the coronavirus. Those who also suffer from poor mental health can find it even more difficult to cope. The Government advice is to reduce the risk of spreading infection, which our support for Trinity Winchester will help towards.
Right now, Trinity is asking for donations of money rather than volunteers or goods. As you can expect, homeless people still need food as well as washing and laundry facilities. Trinity is working with Winchester City Council, St Clement’s NHS Surgery and other coronavirus taskforce partners and have come up with an emergency plan.
We’re donating £10,000 to help Trinity support rough sleepers who have been given emergency accommodation to use, who will be visited four times a day. They’ll be given nutritious cooked lunches and breakfast packs to help them keep well, along with clean bedding, clothing and hygiene products. Alongside, these homeless people will be given counselling and vital human contact by phone, to help them feel less alone. Crisis support will be provided to those who need it and places like Night Shelter, who also help the homeless, will be given food.