Charity in Focus: Health Stars

Published: Monday 13th November 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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This week’s charity in focus is Health Stars, which works closely with the Humber NHS Foundation Trust to enhance health services across the region.

We spoke with Jenny Preston, Charity Manager, to find out more about their inspiring work.

Great to chat with you, Jenny. Can you tell us a little bit about Health Stars?

Health Stars was created so that individuals and groups could access funds from NHS Humber.

We relaunched in August 2016 and began our Circle of Wishes process. This allows NHS staff members, patients and family members of a patient to put in a wish for charitable funds. The mission is to enhance facilities and working environments.

We will either receive this money from the NHS Trust, or go out to campaign for funds.

A wish could be anything from refurbishing an area in an inpatient unit, to upgrading to a specialist piece of equipment or a trip out for volunteers.

For example, in Granville Court in Hornsea, we recently renovated a community garden in order to make it accessible for wheelchair users.

Meanwhile, at Westlands inpatient unit in Hull, we installed a learning kitchen that aims to teach patients necessary skills so that they are ready for when they return home.

Since launching in August last year, we have had around 170 wishes and delivered around 75% of these so far.

Why do you think projects like these are important?

The NHS does a fantastic job of providing the core facilities and equipment that staff need to do their jobs. We don’t supply anything that the NHS would already fund. Instead, we aim to enhance those environments, to benefit both staff and patients.

In short, the NHS provides the biscuit and we put the chocolate on top!

Our work is important because healthcare staff are carrying out wonderful work every day of the week, often in extremely stretched environments. Providing staff with an inspiring space enables them to do a much better job.

Health Stars is here to add a bit of sparkle.

Have you got any exciting projects lined up for next year?

One of our main projects we are working on is the new Children and Young Person’s In-Patient Unit on Walker Street, next to Sunshine House. I’ve seen the plans and it looks amazing – it will be a world-class, leading inpatient unit for young people in the area.

At the moment, young people are forced to move away from the area to get the care they need, as the previous unit was closed in 2013.

We are launching a campaign for this at the beginning of next year to raise funds.

How can people support Health Stars?

We are currently calling out to local businesses and companies to be their charity of the year. Meanwhile, we are running an extensive programme of fundraising events for 2018, working closely with the Hull Daily Mail to publicise these. Individuals can donate via our website if they wish.

Find out more about Health Stars and get involved.

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Published: Monday 13th November 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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