Since being set up as a Community Interest Company these are some of the things we have done, outside our healthcare remit, to benefit the communities we serve.
Defibrillator donated to Bungay running club
ECCH donated a new defibrillator to a local running club after one of their members collapsed at an event.
Bungay Black Dog Running Club had been planning to purchase one of the life-saving machines when the emergency incident highlighted their importance. Ladies captain Alice Kirk, who works for ECCH’s Health and Safety Team, asked if the organisation had any spare defibrillators the club could buy and ECCH offered to give them one instead.
Gifts to Waveney Children's Centres
We gave 250 presents to Children’s Centres in Lowestoft and Waveney after staff had a bumper Christmas collection.
They donated toys for the under-5s in special boxes posted at all ECCH’s bases in Norfolk and Suffolk. An online giving site was also set up for monetary donations and the social enterprise matched the amount raised and bought more presents to add to the pile.
The Children’s Centres made special requests for musical instruments, sensory toys, books and building blocks. Once all the gifts were gathered together, teams from ECCH’s Children’s Services Directorate wrapped every one. They were distributed at Children’s Centre Christmas parties across Lowestoft and Waveney.
Training pupils to save lives
Our specialist trainers have been working with pupils from Caister Academy to teach them how to save lives in an emergency. The Academy is the first school in the area to take part in a free session aimed at training young people resuscitation techniques, use of a defibrilator and how to treat anaphylaxis in case they should witness someone having a heart attack or severe allergic reaction.
Free Safeguarding Training for Beccles Gymnastics Club
Coaches and volunteers at the Beccles Royales gymnastics club were given free safeguarding training by our specialists so the club can ensure the best possible care and support is on offer should club members ever need it.
ECCH also supported Beccles Royales when they moved premises to their base at Ellough Industrial Estate. The social enterprise, which uses all its surplus resources to benefit local communities, provided a van and staff to move the club’s equipment. Staff also donated money towards flooring in the new gym.
Partnership with The Princes Trust
Twelve young people from Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft joined us for a month's training after we organised a course as part of The Prince's Trust 'Get Into Healthcare' programme. The 16 to 25 year olds undertook a mixture of classroom learning and practical experience and all obtained a Care Certificate at the end of their course - a key healthcare qualification to use in their future careers.
Supporting vulnerable people
Collection points were set up across ten ECCH sites so staff could take part in our ‘Fill a Rucksack’ campaign to help vulnerable and homeless people in the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth area.
They donated backpacks and items to fill them such as clothes, food, toiletries, torches, thermal blankets and flasks.
All the items collected were given to the charity Access Community Trust which supports homeless people with housing, health, education and employment.
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.
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. 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 our annual quiz night 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’, Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day and the Ice Bucket Challenge in aid of the ALS Association which carries out research into Motor Neurone Disease.