When our social enterprise was first formed five years ago we asked our staff to choose the values they thought should underpin East Coast Community Healthcare. These have become the bedrock of our organisation.
As a social enterprise East Coast Community Healthcare reinvests any surplus resources into the local community and is always looking for ways in which to give something back.
Since being set up as a Community Interest Company some of the things we have done, outside our healthcare remit, include:
Swimming Club Sponsorship
ECCH sponsored Great Yarmouth Swimming Club to enable it to stage a series of galas for young swimmers and thereby encourage children and young people to exercise. The £450 we donated went towards staging three events at Great Yarmouth High School pool and the Phoenix Pool in Bradwell. It included paying for swim caps, medals and certificates for the competitors who are all in their Learn to Swim and Pre-Squad groups.
Gym Club Support
We gave financial and practical support to a gymnastics club that was forced to move to new premises after being based in Beccles for forty years. ECCH provided a van and staff to move equipment for the Beccles Royales in December 2015. Staff have also made donations towards the new building which needed flooring and heating
Helping the Homeless
ECCH staff donated boxes of food, clothes and gifts to help support the homeless in Lowestoft. We set up collection points at our head office in Beccles and sites across Norfolk and Waveney in January 2016 for three months. The food will go into the foodbank at Lowestoft Citadel Salvation Army while the clothes and gifts will be sold in the Salvation Army’s charity shops where 100% of all profits go into community activities at the church, the main beneficiary being their free drop-in meal funds.
Eye Machine Donated
We donated an ophthalmic field analyser – a machine for diagnosing eye conditions like glaucoma and monitoring the progress of sight loss – to Medical Aid International an organisation which equips healthcare projects in the developing world.
The machine had been in storage since it was taken out of service when Blundeston Prison closed in 2014. It was originally funded by the Beccles Hospital League of Friends who supported the donation.
Phones to help victims of violence
ECCH donated 230 mobile phone handsets to Norfolk PACT (Partners Against Crime Taskforce) for their Norfolk Fonesforsafety campaign - a mobile phone recycling scheme which turns used mobile phones into reconfigured “999 emergency only” personal alarms for victims of domestic abuse and other vulnerable people.
The phones were previously used by staff who have now been issued smart phones as part of our mobile working system.
At Christmas we set up collection points across ten ECCH sites so staff could donate items for vulnerable and homeless people in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
We subsequently delivered goods ranging from tents and sleeping bags to clothing and toiletries to Access Community Trust which described the donation as ‘overwhelming’.
We also collected for two foodbank schemes – Great Yarmouth and East Suffolk - and ECCH district nurses distributed foodbank vouchers to patients in need.
Additional fund raising
We raise funds for local charities at a number of staff social events throughout the year. At the annual quiz night in April 2016 we collected £600 through tickets sales and a raffle. ECCH then matched this amount and donated it to Waveney Enterprises and East Anglian Air Ambulance. Staff also take part in national charity events such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month’s’ Wear It Pink’ campaign, MacMillan Cancer Support’s World’s ‘Biggest Coffee Morning’ and the Ice Bucket Challenge in aid of the ALS Association which carries out research into Motor Neurone Disease.