Having recently launched the ‘Space to Grow’ appeal to fund facilities at the expanding Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Hull Royal Infirmary, WISHH charity has attracted Champion Grants from a number of John Good Group employees, totalling £2,000.
WISHH (Working Independently Supporting Hull’s Hospitals) are an independent charity who work solely to raise funds and work closely with hospital teams to help enhance facilities, equipment, and services across Hull’s two hospitals – Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill. Their previous projects have included creating a cinema for recuperating patients, decorating the paediatric ward with murals, and organising scrubs for staff and tablets for patients to make calls during the covid pandemic.
The latest appeal from the charity is aiming to raise an ambitious £100,000 to support the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to upscale its facilities for families. Each year the unit cares for more than 500 babies from 22 weeks gestation – with some staying for a few days and others for months. The hospital trust is expanding the unit with five more cots, and WISHH want to add to this vital facility with extra amenities to help families feel more comfortable during their stay – including a sensory room, space for siblings to play, comfortable areas for parents to talk with medical staff, and the addition of a staff training facility.
The donation of £2,000 from the Matthew Good Foundation came through the John Good Group employee giving programme – as a number of employees saw the appeal and wanted to help. The John Good Group direct funds to charities via the Matthew Good Foundation, who manage their comprehensive employee giving programme. Employees become members of the foundation and can apply for funds in a range of ways including donation matching, double-matched fundraising and monthly draws. If a member sees a small, local charitable organisation they would like to support, they can also apply for a small grant to support them.
One of the employees who championed the appeal was Sarah Price, a Client Services Product Analyst from John Good Group subsidiary, Good Travel Management. In her application Sarah describes what inspired her to nominate WISHH:
“I had two reasons for applying for a grant for the Space to Grow appeal. Firstly, I have a relative that works in ICU at Castle Hill Hospital, and I regularly hear about how the WISHH staff go to so much effort to fundraise for this cause on top of their already busy schedule and workload. Secondly, a family friend recently needed ICU care when his 18-month-old daughter after she contracted a severe virus. The care they received from the team in ICU was amazing. It’s an amazing cause, and it really made my day to be able to access a donation for them.”
Sarah Price – Client Services Product Analyst, Good Travel Management
Other Foundation members that applied for grants included Julie Good, a member of the family that owns the John Good Group, and Adam Walsh, CEO of the Group. Adam describes why he personally wanted to support the cause:
“This donation was very personal for me, having experienced firsthand the work that Neonatal Intensive Care Units provide. My twin girls were born prematurely at 32 weeks. They needed expert help from the moment of birth, and we spent the next 13 days with them in neonatal care. It was a traumatic start to parenthood for Sarah and I, but the support we received, and the care received by the girls, made all the difference. If our donation goes someway to support other parents and newborns in the same situation, I will be delighted.”
Adam Walsh – CEO, John Good Group
Jen Murden, Communications and Impact Manager from the Matthew Good Foundation visited WISHH at Hull NICU to present a cheque to Neonatal Ward Manager, Francesca Matthews.
“Thank you so much to the John Good Group and their employees for this fantastic donation. Babies, parents and families who are spending time on the unit for extended periods will greatly benefit from the facilities, enhancing and improving their experience at what is a very difficult time. Training is also paramount for our staff and to have a dedicated space will enable educators to deliver specialist training to team members.”
Francesca Matthews – Neonatal Ward Manager