Southsea painter raises thousands of pounds for QA Hospital's Intensive Care Unit heroes

A FUNDRAISING drive to support staff in a hospital’s intensive care unit has gone viral, collecting thousands of pounds for NHS workers.
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On Friday, April 3, Southsea painter Stephen Bailey set up a fundraising page on Facebook, raising money to buy anti-blister sticks after seeing the skin on his girlfriend's face peeling off from wearing a protective face mask.

He set a target of £300, but has now seen more than £2,800 raised by members of the community – which will now be used to also fund essential shopping for staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU), who are on the front lines of the Covid-19 battle.

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Stephen Bailey, 43 from Southsea. Picture: SuppliedStephen Bailey, 43 from Southsea. Picture: Supplied
Stephen Bailey, 43 from Southsea. Picture: Supplied
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Stephen, 43, said: ‘I’ve had a lot of spare time on my hands and wanted to do something to help the amazing guys in the NHS.

‘My girlfriend works at the ICU so I’ve heard about just how bad things are up there.

‘I wanted to get something together for everyone on that ward, because they need all the help they can get at the moment.’

With the fundraiser continuing to gather steam, Stephen has collected enough money to also buy snacks for the ICU, such as crisps, fruit and drinks.

Staff from the intensive care unit at QA Hospital are working harder than ever before. This thank you note was made by Brooke and George Cox from Highbury Grove. Picture: Mark CoxStaff from the intensive care unit at QA Hospital are working harder than ever before. This thank you note was made by Brooke and George Cox from Highbury Grove. Picture: Mark Cox
Staff from the intensive care unit at QA Hospital are working harder than ever before. This thank you note was made by Brooke and George Cox from Highbury Grove. Picture: Mark Cox
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The rest of the money will be used as and when NHS staff require it.

Stephen said: ‘The donation drive has really spiralled, it’s so much bigger than I could ever have expected.

‘Let’s say someone in the intensive care unit team goes out shopping – they can send us the receipt and we can pay for it.

'We’ve already managed to send a box full of food up to the hospital and will continue doing so while this pandemic goes on.’

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With more donations coming in, Stephen is excited to play his part in the coronavirus pandemic and is urging others to do the same.

He said: ‘These NHS workers are right at the forefront of this crisis, they deserve our help.

‘You can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like on the wards, so the more you can do to help the better.’

To make a donation for the staff at QA’s intensive care unit, go to facebook.com/donate/228305311873931

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A fundraiser set up to help staff, called the Portsmouth Hospitals Thank You Appeal 2020, was set up this week and has already raised more than £11,500. To donate to that click here.

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