GENEROUS readers have managed to hit the £5,000 target of Newsquest’s fundraising campaign to support frontline NHS staff.

Last week, we launched Support Our NHS Guardian Angels - a national bid across our newspaper group to raise cash for NHS Charities Together’s urgent Covid-19 appeal.

And by day six, kind-hearted readers had smashed our initial target with donations now exceeding £6,250.

The appeal will remain active to generate as much financial support for those on the frontline as possible.

NHS Charities Together is a combined charity which supports 250 hospitals around the UK. It is hoping to raise £100million and has already received £15million in donations.

Money will be used for food parcels, covering the cost of travel and accommodation for staff and to buy equipment or items requested by frontline workers.

Local newspapers across our publishing group Newsquest have joined the campaign - from as far afield at Falmouth in Cornwall to Inverclyde in Scotland.

Those donating, shared messages of support for our fantastic health service.

Caroline Peck wrote: “The NHS is amazing. Thank you to all the brilliant staff for everything that you are doing.”

While Claire Griffiths wrote: “Thinking of everyone as we battle against coronavirus and the challenges we face.”

David Fuller simply wrote: “Can’t think of a bigger word than thank you.”

Katie French, who is co-ordinating Newsquest’s national campaign, said: “It is a privilege to be able to raise money for the incredible staff of the NHS who are the backbone of our efforts to fight Covid-19.

“Local news publishers are much more than just delivers of news but hubs of the community and this has never felt more keenly than during a time of uncertainty. The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Toby Granville, Editorial Director at Newsquest said: “I am delighted that we are in some small part able to give something back to show our appreciation for the NHS workers and volunteers.

“We hope our army of readers will use this campaign to show their gratitude for those who are putting themselves in harms way every day but saving many lives by doing so.”

Ellie Orton, chief executive of the charity, said ‘This is a phenomenal start to our appeal. We are so grateful to everyone who is fundraising and donating, both big and small. You are making a huge difference. One week in with very little publicity we’ve made a fantastic start towards our ambitious £100million target. NHS staff and volunteers up and down the country have our support and we will reach that target for them.”

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How you can help the NHS

  • DONATE to Newsquest’s Support Our NHS Guardian Angels by visiting here . Funds will go to NHS Charities Together’s urgent Covid-19 appeal to support staff and volunteers on the frontline of the pandemic. Money will be spent on wellness packs, travel and accommodation costs and covering food and drink. Please dig deep and give whatever you can spare. All donations however big or small will go towards making a difference. Ellie Orton, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “NHS staff and volunteers are doing amazing work right now in caring for Covid-19 patients and working tirelessly in the face of the virus. “It’s easy to feel helpless in times like these but this campaign gives us all as individuals, groups and organisations the chance to show we care and to make a difference. Together, we can help those affected by supporting the health and wellbeing of those at the frontline of our NHS.”
  • GET INVOLVED in the conversation online. Tell us why you are thankful for the NHS using the hashtag #ThankYouNHS.
  • GET CLAPPING: Every Thursday, the nation is being invited to take part in a round of applause at 8pm for NHS workers and carers.
  • SUPPORT the NHS by following the official health advice which is to stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading. The NHS is asking the general public to adhere to the prime minister’s message of staying home. Residents should only leave their homes where it is necessary and should follow social distancing measures.