Christmas toy appeal – what a great response!

During the run-up to Christmas, we launched our toy appeal for Casey Ward at Epsom, and Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children at St Helier.  We had a great response.  The generosity of our local communities has been fantastic throughout the pandemic, and once again we’ve been amazed by the resilience and willingness of the public to support their local hospitals.  

Together with our Play Specialists we set up an Amazon Wish List of items that were carefully selected to create ‘single use play packs’ along with plastic toys which can be deep-cleaned and sanitised before use by another child. 

Here’s Play Specialist Sarah Montgomery with a selection of the toys at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children, St Helier.

With the second wave, it looks like the play specialists will need to be creating play packs beyond the Twelve Days of Christmas! So, there’s still a chance to donate from the Wishlist if you’re able to.

In the meantime we’d like to send a big thank you to all the people who have donated so far, and to all our secret Santas too! 


Brew up support for your local hospitals with a virtual Christmas Cuppa

This festive season, Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity are encouraging you to hold a ‘Care for a Christmas Cuppa’ virtual tea party.

As COVID continues to keep loved ones apart and has put paid to the traditional Christmas party, the dedicated charity supporting Epsom and St Helier hospitals and community services is giving local people the perfect excuse for a virtual catch up with friends and colleagues over a hot drink and a festive treat – while raising vital funds for your local health services.

Hosting a Care for a Christmas Cuppa event is as simple as one-two-tea! Just pick a virtual meeting platform that you know everyone can use – like Zoom or Microsoft Teams – and set up a fundraising page to collect the donations. Invite your friends, family and colleagues and either suggest a donation simply for the joy of joining in, or stir it up a bit, and turn it into a small entry fee to take part in the Christmas Cuppa quiz or even a bake-off style challenge. The quiz, along with other ideas and top tips, bunting and invites, are all available to download from the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals website at

Fundraising Manager, Sasha Phillips said: “This year, support your local hospitals and community services with Care for a Christmas Cuppa. Whether it’s a small coffee morning or a big par-tea, every penny raised can help the ward or department of your choice.

“Don your Santa hat and Christmas jumper, warm up a mince pie or indulge with a slice of yule log, put the carols on, and ease your guests into the festive spirit with our quiz. Forget big office blow-outs, this is the year for a new tradition.

“Care for a Christmas Cuppa is a way to help support our hospitals and community services during a time when it’s needed most. Winter is traditionally a critical time for hospitals and with the added challenges of the pandemic, any extra funds are much appreciated.”

If you’d like to host your own Care for a Christmas Cuppa event please visit for more information including our virtual party tips. Alternatively, call 01372 735262 or email Let us know how your party goes, as well as sharing pictures, on Twitter at @esthcharity.


Pods provide peace and quiet for Epsom and St Helier staff

Hardworking staff at Epsom and St Helier can now make the most of their breaks or find a moment of relaxation after a busy shift, thanks to a generous loan of two sleep pods.

The two space-age looking pods are designed specifically for twenty-minute power naps, and come complete with a hooded privacy visor and the option to play pre-programmed music or a relaxation guide. This means valued NHS staff are able to rejuvenate their minds and body in the break of a busy shift, or before heading home after clocking off for the day.

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles said: “Team ESTH always work hard to provide the best care to our patients, but the effort and determination they have shown through COVID-19 has been phenomenal. If anyone deserves to put their feet up for 20 minutes and make the most of a lunch break, it’s our staff!

“Evidence shows that for most people, a short 15 to 20-minute nap can help to reduce the impact of tiredness on people’s ability to function and can improve performance. But more importantly than that, being able to take a moment to relax and recuperate will be a real boost for the health and wellbeing of our staff, which in turn, has a positive effect on patient care and experience”.

Dr Shakil Rahman, Lead Respiratory Consultant at the Trust, has been at the very forefront of the Trust’s response to COVID-19, leading the team who cared for some of the sickest COVID-19 patients. He said: ‘I’ve tried the sleep pod and I can’t believe – even for a poor sleeper like me – how refreshed I feel. I will definitely be using it again and encouraging everyone to try some power naps, especially the junior doctors who work and study incredibly hard. I’ve been so proud of how the respiratory team and all my ESTH colleagues have faced the immense challenges of this pandemic, and I truly think their health and wellbeing has never been so important.”

The sleep pods have kindly been loaned to Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity by the company Restworks for a free two-month trial but – if the feedback from staff continues to be positive the charity could look to purchase them on a long-term basis. The Charity always welcome support from local people and businesses – if you would like to make a donation to this or any other project, please contact the team by email at or call 01372 735262.

For more information about Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity (registered charity number 1049197) visit

For more information on Restworks, please visit:


Frozen food retailer warmly supports local hospitals charity this Halloween

After already raising a ‘shockingly’ good £650 for Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity, Iceland in Wallington will be pulling out all of the Halloween stops this weekend to raise even more money for your local NHS services.

So if you fancy a bit of Halloween fun with your weekly shop, get yourself down to Iceland Wallington (covid restrictions allowing) this weekend. You might spot staff who, in return for a small donation, will be swapping their usual uniforms for fancy dress and will be channelling their inner witches and warlocks (and even Super Mario). On Saturday, there’s the chance to win some ‘spooktacular’ raffle prizes including a hamper for children and a hamper for ‘grown-ups’ as well as some beautiful home-crafted teddies – with profits going straight back to Epsom and St Helier hospitals.

The cuddly toys were knitted by regular customer and local resident Emma Honeyman, who was born at St Helier and had her two children there too. Tickets are a bargain at £1 for five and the draw will take place on Saturday 31 October.

The store’s fundraising has been driven by long-serving employee and tireless Charity Champion Joani O’Brien who said: ‘I think it’s so important to support local charities.  Many of the team here have, at one time or another been looked after by the hospitals so we thought that now, more than ever, was the right to time to try and give something back to them!”

The store will continue to support Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity throughout Christmas and the New Year, so keep an eye out for what they have planned next!

Sasha Phillips, Fundraising Manager at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity said: “Thank you so much to Joani, Iceland Wallington, and all their customers. This is a lovely example of a community coming together to support their local hospitals and community services. The money raised will go towards funding projects that go ‘above and beyond’ to improve patient experience and staff welfare. Winter is traditionally a critical time for hospitals and with the added burden of the pandemic any extra funds at this time are much appreciated!”

Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity (registered charity number 1049197) always welcomes support from local people and businesses – if you would like to find out more about the charity, fundraise or make a donation, please email or call 01372 735262.


Health hero Helen makes masks for hospital charity

A member of the Radiology team at Epsom Hospital is supporting the hospital’s dedicated charity and helping members of the public to stay safe from COVID-19 by crafting bespoke face masks in her spare time.

In just a few weeks Radiology Two-Week-Referral Co-ordinator Helen Bullen has already made and sold her target of 1,000 face masks – with profits going to Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity.

Helen began selling the face masks after making some for her two daughters and receiving requests from friends. She said: “I wanted to make fun masks for my daughters so that they wouldn’t feel anxious wearing one. After sharing photos on social media, I was inundated with requests from friends to make more. I thought why not, I love sewing and I find it really relaxing making masks after a busy shift at the hospital.

 “As a member of the team at Epsom and St Helier and also as a local resident, I wanted to give something back and do something to support my colleagues during the pandemic.

On choosing to raise money for Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity, Helen added: “Everyone, from those working directly with patients with COVID-19 to those in administrative roles, has been working incredibly hard during the pandemic. Throughout this, our local communities have been amazingly generous – raising money for us and donating gifts and goods to our charity that have made a very real difference to us.”

Deputy Chief Executive Dr Ruth Charlton said: “We are so touched that after a busy shift at Epsom Hospital, Helen would give up her time to make these amazing masks to raise money for our charity. We owe her a huge thank you!

“Our staff have done an incredible job in caring for patients and helping to keep others safe during the pandemic, and Helen’s generous offer is testament to the commitment and passion of our staff.”

Some of the most popular patterns have included spots, bees, pugs and stripes, and Helen  also has several child friendly fabrics for facemasks, including footballs, flamingos and pirate skulls.

The face masks are made to order and available in 3 sizes (adult/teen /child) £4 each or 4 for £15 with £1 from each mask donated to the charity. To order contact Helen via Instagram or by email


Walk 4 Wards 2020

Less than one week to go!

In the wake of COVID-19, we asked our walkers to adapt our usual Walk4Wards event into a virtual one, giving them free rein on location and two months to complete the challenge.  Really, the only requirement was to cover the original 7.5 miles or to measure it in steps – 15,840 to be more precise! 

Many walkers have been able to take advantage of the glorious weather, exploring new routes and even stepping up the distance! 

With the virtual event finishing on 1 September, here’s hoping that other supporters will find the time to get their walk in before then. And so far over £8000 has been raised to support our local hospitals and community services!  Here are just a few examples of the fabulous fundraising:

  • SCBU Manager Gerry Cotter and her husband Deva Sahabandu have raised over £1000 to refurbish the parents room on the Special Care Baby Unit.
  • Community Matron Blessing Mazanzi and her daughter Violet have raised over £500 to help improve patient services on the Alex Frailty ward, and purchase a bladder scanner.
  • Team Sexual Health Striders have raised over £1300 to fund contraception, sexual health, and HIV services.

Check out some great ‘Finish line photos’ from Gerry, Blessing, the Striders and other Walk 4 Wards walkers at Flickr.

We have several more stories to share, but we’ll leave you with these headlines for now. We’re looking forward to the final countdown of photos and fun! And let’s not forget, the Trust is matching every penny raised!


Gurkhas Give Generously

As a token of thanks to our staff, the South London Nepalese Gurkha Association has donated £1,154 to Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity.

The Association were so moved by the struggles faced by staff in recent months, and the unprecedented demand put on hospital services, that they desperately felt the need to give something in return.

For some members of the Association the donation was particularly personal – relatives who had caught coronavirus were cared for by St Helier’s ICU team for 25 days before, happily, being declared fit and healthy enough to return home to their families.

Fundraising Manager, Sasha Phillips, said: “Our communities have been overwhelmingly supportive of our local hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak. So we are yet again humbled to now receive this donation from our local Gurkha Association which will go towards providing additional support for staff wellbeing at the hospitals.”

If you would like to make a donation please visit Ways to give.


COVID-19: Thank You

The kindness of our local communities during COVID-19 has been amazing!

Like NHS staff up and down the country, the teams at Epsom and St Helier have been working incredibly hard to care for patients and to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

During this challenging time, staff at the hospitals and in community services have been truly bolstered by the support from our local communities, and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has made a donation, created art to celebrate staff, or joined the weekly #clapforcarers. Over the last few weeks, hundreds of people and local companies have reached out to our hospitals and community services to express their gratitude for staff, including 1,000 free meals for staff from a generous philanthropist, and a father and son-in-law duo who shaved their hair off!

Donations have also come in from local individuals, community groups and sports clubs, schools, as well as lots of companies including TK Maxx, Uber, Boots, Pizza Express, KFC, Dominos, Fireaway, Starbucks, Eucerin Skincare, Eve Beds, Café Nero, Pure Food Systems, Michael Clark, Costco, Asda, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Morrisons, Tesco, M&S, Debenhams, Wilsons, Wow Hydrate, Tropical Skin Care, Sodafolk, Howdens, Dukes Head Wallington, AJ Building, Scott Dunn Travel, North Woodcote Green Nurseries and Miller Harris with more coming in every day. Nike have also offered their support, donating around 400 trainers and sports kits!

We are currently facing uncharted waters as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, but one constant always remains. In times of crisis you can rely on #TeamESTH (Epsom and St Helier Hospitals) to be here for you and your family.

Joint Medical Director Dr Ruth Charlton, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to offer their support over the past few weeks. Our staff are going above and beyond to protect and care for our patients, keep services running and reduce the risk to the public, fellow colleagues and their loved ones. Of course, our staff will be here for you whatever happens and our commitment to help keeping people safe and as well as possible will not change.

“We are doing as much as we can to make life a little easier for our staff, including offering free parking, additional psychological and health and wellbeing support, and our onsite shops have changed their stock to include fresh vegetables and home essentials, and are offering protected shopping time for staff.

“We have received some very touching messages of support for our staff, as well as some very generous donations and discount offers – these gestures are greatly appreciated by our teams and a great boost to morale in this busy and difficult time. We owe everyone who has already donated, whether big or small, a huge thank you.”

While our staff take care of us during these very challenging times, with your support we can help take care of them through this crisis.

If you would like to say ‘Thank You’ with a small donation to support our amazing staff at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals and community services, it would be greatly appreciated. Your donation will help fund what our staff and hospitals need most to help them through this pandemic.

If you have any queries, or would like us to pass on messages to the staff who cared for you, please email us at or call 01372 735262. Follow us on Twitter @EsthCharity, or like our Facebook page @esthcharity.



Our London2Paris Bike Ride is still on for 16-20 September!

So, if you’ve been able to clock-up your Strava or Garmin cycling miles and metrics during Lockdown, then why not put them to good use and sign up today to support Epsom and St Helier Hospitals. And if it’s the first time you’ve been on a bike for years, then make London2Paris your new personal fitness challenge!

This iconic 300 mile ride will be a great way to shake off Lockdown as it takes you through beautiful English villages and into the stunning countryside of rural France, before reaching Paris on the fourth day to complete your challenge under the Eiffel Tower!

You can decide which ward or department you would like your ‘tour de fundraising’ to support, or you could put it towards our COVID-19 Appeal as a tribute to our hardworking staff during the pandemic.

The suggested target sponsorship is £1600, or you can self-fund the tour costs which are £800.

For a limited period, we are also offering 50% off the registration fee if you sign up by Tuesday 30 June.

To find out more and to book your place, please contact the Charity Team on 01372 735262 or by email at



Walk4Wards has gone virtual for 2020!

In the current COVID-19 climate of social restrictions and the reality of a new normal, we’re constantly adapting to keep up with government guidelines when it comes to social distancing and interacting two metres apart. With this in mind, we’re transforming our Walk4Wards event into a virtual one this year.

With the summer months upon us, we feel that now is the best time to reintroduce our event; the new, fun, flexible version!

The walk from Epsom Hospital to St Helier Hospital is 7.5 miles which translates into an average of 15,940 steps for those who like to use Fitbits and step counting apps on their mobile devices. To complete the Walk4Wards challenge, we need you to walk either 7.5 miles or 15,840 steps, between 1st July and 1st September, but how you do it is the creative and fun part.

Some ways of completing our challenge between 1st July and 1st September:

* Walk the intended route using our map and google maps as a guide.

* Cover the distance by walking around your neighbourhood, garden, or even tackling the staircase.

* Take on the steps in one venture, or spread them over a few outings.

To get you going we’ll be sending out your t-shirt, flag, map and also a message template so you can write your reason for taking part.

Make sure to share your progress on our Facebook and Twitter pages using #Walk4Wards. Complete your challenge and you’ll receive – new for this year – a shiny Walk4Wards medal! Just send in your ‘finish line’ photo and we’ll pop it in the post to you. We want to see you tackling this challenge so we can spread the love too!

If you haven’t signed up yet, and would like to participate, please get in touch with the Charity Team.

Finally, whenever and however you undertake your walk, please ensure you adhere to the government restrictions which are current at the time.

We look forward to seeing your #Walk4Wards variations!

For more information please contact the Charity Team on 01372 735262 or email at