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Harnessing Northern community spirit to give back to local nurses

Friday, 28 August, 2020
Harnessing Northern community spirit to give back to local nurses

Healthcare workers at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have benefitted from a charitable partnership between two North East based organisations.

Caring skincare brand Nursem has teamed-up with Newcastle Building Society to say ‘thank you’ to nurses across its patch by making a huge donation to the Northumbria Healthcare’s charity, Bright.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Newcastle Building Society purchased Nursem’s hand cream for all of its branch and office-based staff, after vigorous hand washing and repeated use of hand sanitiser took its toll. But it had an added benefit too – as part of Nursem’s ongoing pledge, each product bought buys a month’s supply donated to an NHS nurse or midwife.

But they decided to go one step further, supplying a month’s worth of hand cream for every single nurse and clinician working for the health trust across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

During the early days of the pandemic, Stuart Fearn, head of the branch network at Newcastle Building Society, noticed how constant hand washing and use of hand sanitiser was causing irritation to his wife and child’s hands. After doing some research, he decided to purchase hand cream for his family, and after being so impressed with the results, he arranged a supply for all of his colleagues.

Stuart is under the care of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust due to a diagnosis with Ulcerative Colitis five years ago. He is living an active life with the condition due to the fantastic care he has received from his Nurse, Judy Murphy. Because of this, Stuart was keen to ensure that Judy and her team were supported by the Nursem Promise, and nominated her ward for a donation.

When the sheer size of the NHS donation became clear, Nursem and Newcastle Building Society together agreed that by distributing the donation across the full Trust, it would ensure all the hardworking NHS staff could benefit from support for their hardworking hands.

Stuart Fearn explained: “Receiving my diagnosis was an unnerving time, Judy and the team were so supportive – I can’t thank them enough. I’m such an active person and I wasn’t sure what it meant for me, but I’m now training in preparation for the London Marathon next year, so that gives you an idea of how well they have cared for me. Everyone at Newcastle Building Society is committed to supporting our communities and grateful for the dedication of those working for the NHS, so when I was given the opportunity to support in making a mass donation to the nurses at Northumbria Healthcare, knowing that it would make a genuine difference to how they feel every day, I knew I had to make it happen.”

Lower Gastrointestinal Nurse Specialist for Northumbria Healthcare, Judy Murphy said: “These past few months have been extremely challenging for all of us on the front line. Wearing PPE and increased levels of handwashing has certainly taken its toll on us all – this is such a kind gesture from two of our local businesses. It’s overwhelming to see those who have been cared for in our communities really giving something back.”

Brenda Longstaff, Head of Northumbria’s Bright Charity commented “Our nurses will be delighted with this donation of hand cream. For the past few months their hands have really worn with the extra hygiene precautions that have been required. Having something to cool and sooth their hands during a long shift will be a real treat for them and the charity is very grateful to Newcastle Building Society and Nursem for this wonderful support.”

Founder of Nursem Jonny Philp, said: “We’ve always been committed to giving back to the NHS, but our mission has felt even more rewarding and important than ever given the unprecedented events of this year. We’ve helped thousands of nurses to date but it’s been brilliant to work so closely with Newcastle Building Society to supply another 7,500 nurses across the Northumbria Trust with Nursem products to provide some relief to their hard-working hands.”