A COLLECTION is being organised at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to help areas of the Philippines hit by the devastating storm.
Staff are asking for canned and dried foods, such as rice, and toiletries to be sent out to the communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
There are about 180 Filipino nurses employed at the Trust; some of whom are in the harrowing position of not knowing if their families and friends are safe.
Ward Manager on Edith Cavell Ward, Don Bolonia said: “That he is one of the lucky ones. Don, who came to Basildon Hospital from the Philippines 12 years ago, said: “My family is safe, but there are two nurses on this ward whose relatives have been affected. One has been able to speak to her family but her husband has not heard from his relatives at all. They are trying not to fear the worst but it is very difficult.
“The family of other nurse have the only house which has survived in their village, so they are feeding the whole community. She is sending as much money as she can to help, and colleagues here have also given
her money. With just £1 you can buy enough rice to feed four or five people for a day, so every donation helps.”
He added: “When I hear the stories of how people are suffering or have tried to save their loved ones, it makes me feel humble that we were saved.
“Our colleagues have been very supportive. Diane Sarkar, the Director of Nursing, comes round to speak with Filipino staff, asking if they need to take time off so they can try to contact their families, and the chaplaincy team are also offering support.”
Sam Neville, Matron for Medicine, is coordinating the collection and Ric Tan, Charge Nurse in A&E is arranging for the goods to be transported to the Red Cross in the
Issued by: Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Communications Office Media enquiries: Tel: 01268 524900 ext 2994. Out of hours contact 01268 524900 and ask for Operator. Once connected ask for the on-call press officer.
Philippines. Sam said: “Hearing Don and other colleagues from the Philippines talking about what was happening to their communities at home, and seeing pictures, made us want to help.
“When I go round the wards all our Filipino nurses are getting on with their work and keeping a smile on their faces, but you can see in their eyes how worried they are.”
Ric is also relieved that his family in the Philippines are safe, and says he is glad to have the support of his local Catholic church and colleagues at the Trust. He says: “I have been here 11 years and I feel part of the family at Basildon Hospital. The support and help we are getting from people really makes a difference.
If you would like to donate tinned or dried foods, toiletries or hygiene products (no clothing thank you) please take them to Main Reception at Basildon Hospital, by Friday 22 November 2013.
You can also make a donation via the Red Cross www.redcross.org.uk/typhoonappeal