Publish date: 28 March 2024

Four years on from the first lockdown, and the launch of NHS Charities Together’s Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals Charity (WHH Charity) reveals the incredible impact the funds are having in Warrington and Halton.

The urgent appeal – which launched on the day the nation went into lockdown on 23 March 2020 - has funded thousands of projects across the UK, supporting urgent needs, community prevention projects and the longer-term recovery of the NHS.

In Warrington and Halton, NHS Charities Together awarded £166,500 to WHH Charity to enhance the wellbeing of NHS Staff, volunteers and patients impacted by COVID 19. The funding enabled a variety of projects of which introduced new and enhanced existing staff health and wellbeing support systems within the Trust. Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has over 4,500 staff who have access to a spa style Sanctuary Hub and relaxation areas across both sites, of which offer counselling, complimentary therapies and drop-in sessions all adapted to the needs of each individual.

Initial evaluation of the impact of the appeal has shown nearly one million NHS staff - that’s two thirds of the workforce - have benefited from vital extra support including counselling and rest areas. Around 600,000 patients have also been helped to access care or had support to reduce isolation, and thousands of life-saving community first responder volunteers have received training and new equipment. In addition, people have been supported to stay well with more than 350 projects funded in the community, that have encouraged NHS and voluntary sector organisations to work together as a team to help patients. 

Many of these projects continue to have impact today, with over 90% of projects from the first phase of the appeal having long lasting impact. 

Steve McGuirk, Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and WHH Charity Chairman, said: “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who donated to NHS Charities Together’s Covid Appeal. Thanks to the funding, we have been able to provide staff sanctuary hubs, external relaxation areas, clinical education training suite as well as supporting communities who were disproportionately impacted by Covid particular patients and staff from racially minoritised communities, all of which has helped develop a team of Mental Health First Aiders, increased bereavement support, and improving mental health and wellbeing facilities to all our staff and patients.”

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive at NHS Charities Together, said: “We will never forget that unique moment in 2020 when the nation got behind the NHS when it faced one of its biggest challenges. We were delighted to work with NHS charities to ensure support got to where it was needed most. Thank you to everyone who donated - your support has made a real and meaningful difference to NHS staff, patients and volunteers, supporting thousands of incredible projects that helped staff, volunteers and patients. Your support is still having an impact today. 

“But our latest research shows that, far from being over, the challenges facing healthcare remain high. Together with our network of 230 NHS charities we provide services and support to help the NHS go further. Our support for NHS staff who keep our healthcare service running, and the patients and communities who depend on us, has never been more needed.”

In total NHS Charities Together’s Covid Urgent Appeal raised £162 million with thousands of people in the UK getting behind the NHS to fundraise during lockdown, including through the charity’s ‘One Million Claps’ campaign. Thousands of people raised funds in their own unique ways, from walking and running to sky diving, dancing and baking. Among them were six-year-old Frank Mills and three-year old Daisy Briggs, who both live with spina bifida and who went on to raise thousands for NHS Charities Together. There were also over 50 music singles and many high-profile celebrities got involved too. 

To find out more about the work of NHS Charities Together visit To support our vital work, visit