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ROL Cruise celebrates raising over £100K for Essex and Suffolk NHS

NHS and care leaders in Colchester have thanked a cruise travel agency based in the town after it raised over £100,000 for local services since the coronavirus outbreak started.

Since March, ROL Cruise set itself a target of raising £100,000 for the NHS combined causes before the end of June. Company directors and staff said they wanted to donate the money to support local patients, staff and services and have been delighted with the swift progress made with the fundraising.

The donation will make a significant difference to a wide range of NHS partners across north east Essex and Suffolk who have worked closely in partnership to care for people living with Covid-19.  This includes Colchester Hospital, Clacton and Harwich Community Hospitals, District Nursing and therapy services, Mental health services, the Voluntary sector, St. Helena Hospice, GPs and primary care, Care Homes and the Ambulance Service.

Dr Ed Garratt, the Chief Executive of the clinical commissioning groups across Suffolk and north east Essex, described the generosity as a ‘wonderful show of support’ to the local system.

He added: “This is a huge donation and we are all extremely grateful to ROL Cruise, its staff and its customers.  It will strongly recognise all of our colleagues who have worked tirelessly to respond to this outbreak not just in the NHS, but also in care home settings and voluntary sector partners.  The kind generosity will help us as a system to support the recovery process to help ensure the people we serve are able to access the care and support they need.”

Nick Hulme, Chief Executive at Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals said “Colchester hospital is only one part of the local health and care system in North East Essex. I am particularly pleased that this donation recognises the contribution that all local services continue to make to the health and wellbeing of our local communities.”

Susannah Howard, Programme Director for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System said “The quality of collaboration between partners in the North East Essex Alliance has been exceptional over recent months. I am pleased that this donation will help the Alliance to build on their work during the pandemic to the benefit of local patients, staff and communities.”

Cllr John Spence, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Caring is carried out with love, compassion, and good neighbourliness which can often be unrecognised by the community. With this kind donation the staff of ROL Cruise have demonstrated to all carers in Essex that their efforts are valued and visible. The generosity of Essex businesses through this crisis on a range of issues has been striking and is deeply appreciated.”

Sarah Wikevand, Managing Director, ROL Cruise said, “We are so proud to have been able to raise over £100,000 for the NHS and care partnerships, and are delighted to hear the difference it will make across such a wide spectrum of services that are supporting people living with the impact of Coronavirus.

The NHS staff and volunteers are doing such amazing work in caring for Covid-19 patients and their families and we are very thankful that we have been able to show our support. I would also like to extend our thanks to our cruising customers whose support has enabled us to reach the fundraising target so quickly.”

A presentation of the cheque was made at the ROL Cruise offices in Lexden, where Managing Director Sarah Wikevand presented the cheque to senior representatives from across the NHS.
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