As a charity, Sheffield Hospitals Charity is committed to standing with our colleagues at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals - that is true at all times, but over the past year, and with the challenges that have been faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for us to do that has been even more acute.

The generosity shown by the people and businesses of Sheffield through donations to us, as well as through donations to NHS Charities Together, has allowed us to do a great deal to support frontline staff as well as patients over the course of the past twelve months. We are so grateful for that generosity because it has made an enormous difference.

We are really pleased to have been able to set up and fund a number of important initiatives to make life that bit easier for staff and patients. From giving out staff care packages including toiletries and refreshments to ensure that they feel free between busy shifts, to ensuring that patients had comfort packs including pyjamas and treats to help make their stay in hospital a little more comfortable. From sending staff on each ward chocolate hampers to help boost morale over Christmas, to providing patients with digital photo frames to keep them connected with loved ones.

As a charity we also funded dozens of CALM rooms across our hospitals. These rooms give all staff access to a safe and peaceful space where they can unwind and de-stress on a break or between busy shifts. They also provide access to dedicated support for staff when they are struggling. We are continuing to fund these rooms and keep them operational as well as fully stocked with refreshments. The wellbeing of our hospital heroes is our top priority.

We know how difficult it has been for patients to be isolated way from loved ones throughout their time in hospital. As a result of COVID restrictions, most patients have been unable to receive visitors and this has been heart-breaking. That is why we purchased a number of iPads and tablets which patients (as well as staff who are isolating away from family) can use to contact their loved ones and keep them connected.

From the beginning of the pandemic, we set up a large number of refreshment stations across the hospitals, keeping them fully stocked and ensuring that staff have access to drinks and snacks on and between shifts. In recent months we have been providing more than 15,000 cups of tea to staff, keeping them well hydrated at busy times.

As well as keeping patients connected with their loved ones, we have also taken steps to help to keep them entertained and stimulated during their stays in hospital. We know that being isolated can be fairly dull and we wanted to make hospital stays that little bit easier - so we purchased hundreds of personal radios for patients and we've heard so many stories about the positive difference that they have made.

And we wanted to make sure that staff knew how loved and valued they are by the people of Sheffield. Throughout the pandemic we have been overwhelmed by the messages of support that we have received and we have ensure that they have all been passed on. And we are proud to have been able to pay to install a number of 'thank you' walls across the hospitals to ensure that messages left by patients, supporters, members of the public and beyond are able to be displayed and can be seen by staff. This is a huge boost to morale and helps to put a smile on the face of all staff members.

These are just some of the many ways that we have supported our hospitals in recent times, but the work goes on and, thanks to you, we are able to continue to support those staff members and patients.