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We have been working in partnership with the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation to deliver the Stelios Says Thank You Awards.

The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, established by the entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, donated £250,000 to the RCN Foundation in order to thank and recognise the contribution of frontline nursing and midwifery staff working and living in London, where the Foundation’s UK headquarters are based, for their tireless contribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We received an unprecedented number of applications for these £250 grants, which have made a real difference to frontline staff who have been adversely affected by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Emma (not her real name) is an ICU nurse who started to struggle dealing with losing so many patients to COVID-19. The Stelios Says Thank Your Awards has helped to cover the cost of counselling to improve her mental health and well-being.

"The past 7 weeks at work have seen me endure sleepless nights, severe anxiety about going to work, about getting infected and bringing that infection home to my partner. It has been heart-breaking to see so many people die right in front of us and to see my colleagues break down day after day. I have started regular therapy to try and cope with the day to day and to help deal with some of what I have seen. This grant will go towards my ongoing therapy cost which is expensive but is crucial for me in order to go the distance in this marathon. Thank you to the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and the RCN Foundation for your help."

Alejandro has been a nurse for 5 years and was redeployed to an Intensive Care Unit for COVID-19 patients at the start of the pandemic –he wanted to move forward professionally, and the Stelios award will bring him closer to his dream of becoming an anaesthetic nurse practitioner. 

This has been a very emotional and difficult experience, having lost so many patients due to COVID-19. I have decided that after I finish working in ICU, I will use this grant to help finance a post-graduate course to become an anaesthetic nurse practitioner so that I can continue to provide the best patient care in the operating room. I am very grateful for this grant – without it I would find it very difficult to finance this course.”

Applications have now closed for the Stelios Says Thank You Award.