The Healthcare Workers’ Foundation (HWF) has launched a memorial fund to support the children of healthcare workers who have tragically died from Covid-19.
More than 1,500 NHS and care workers have died from the virus on the UK frontlines since the start of the pandemic, leaving behind grieving families, spouses and children. The Fund provides a yearly grant to assist students through their university studies and the charity is calling on eligible families and children to get in touch to find out more about the financial support available.
The (HWF) was founded by NHS workers and their families in March 2020. The Memorial Fund is the charity’s latest initiative and supports children commencing higher education or vocational courses through an annual grant to make sure they are not further disadvantaged by their loss. This approach is backed by research showing financial grants are an effective tool to improve student outcomes in higher education.
HWF has helped more than half a million healthcare worker families to date, including donating £48,000 in childcare grants, £69,000 for counselling, over £70,000 in organisational grants for hardship and safe surgery initiatives, tens of thousands of items of PPE and delivery of hot meals.
Dr Dom Pimenta, co-founder and Chairman of the Healthcare Workers’ Foundation said:
“To get through medical school I myself relied on scholarship funding, and that was with the support of my family, financially or emotionally. Getting through without either would have been immensely difficult, if not impossible.
“Ongoing support has already been provided to families who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19, including that of Elsie Sazuze, who passed away in April 2020 after contracting the virus whilst working on the frontline. Since her passing, the HWF has supported her husband Ken and two children Anna and Andrew with bereavement, respite and mentoring services.”
Anna Sazuze, who took tutoring lessons provided by the HWF Families Programme said:
“The tutoring courses really helped boost my confidence whilst studying in the lead up to my exams this summer. I’ve found it very useful, so knowing that the charity is also available to support during the final stages of my educational journey is a huge relief. The support the charity provides is invaluable and I’m glad other students across the UK who have had a similar experience to me will also benefit from this Fund into higher education and beyond.”
Dr Pimenta added:
“When you lose a parent at a young age, you lose more than just a loved one. We lose opportunity, connections, mentoring and security. We can’t hope to fully replace that, but our ambition is to restore to the bereaved children of healthcare workers as far as humanly possible some of that access and security they have lost. This is what we would’ve wanted for our own children if the worst had come to pass.”
The HWF Memorial Fund is available to anyone entering a higher education or a higher qualification course. Approved applicants can access £5,000 per year and applications can be made directly through the HWF website from Tuesday 10 August. Further details on the Memorial Fund and its eligibility requirements can be found by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support the activity HWF delivers for healthcare workers, whether that’s through its new Memorial Fund, welfare and wellbeing services or childcare costs, please donate here or text HWF to 70085 to give £3 a month and keep their work going long into the future.