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April 2023

Project management for charity success

Completed ELHT&Me HUB

East Lancashire Hospital’s Trust charity, ELHT&Me was looking to move its operations into a main hub.

The hub needed to be placed in a prominent location within one of the Trust’s largest hospitals, Royal Blackburn. The Project Company had two retail spaces near the hospital main entrance which the charity liked the look of, however, due to the scale of the hub’s operations, and to maximise impact, the charity needed to convert the two units into one.

The Trust charity is a separate entity to the Trust, it has its own budget and must make its own capital. It allocates budget from the capital it brings in. The charity was receiving donations from relatives of patients, going out to local sports teams, and shaking buckets in public spaces, but this was not enough to support the Trust to purchasing the essential medical equipment needed for an acute hospital. The Trust issued a variation to the Project Company at Royal Blackburn Hospital.

Project managing a complex variation

Vercity project managed the process for delivery. Starting by submitting budget cost for the building and services alterations. Unfortunately, costs exceeded the charities budget for the conversion. Without capital support the hub project could not happen.

Facilitating donations of work

Martyn Ashcroft of Vercity approached suppliers and contractors to obtain donations to support the delivery of the project. Reaction/appetite to support the project via donations was positive. Companies expressed a strong desire to donate something that would produce something tangible. Donations were made from various sources; from, designers, engineers, consultants, contractors, and suppliers. The total value of work, materials and time came to £79,502.81. This meant the total cost of converting the retails units into the charity hub was £9,236.58.

Vercity’s approach

Once established that works could be delivered largely as donations, instruction to start the conversion works was issued. Vercity’s contribution to the scheme was Project Management as client under CDM. Ensuring all works were undertaken safely, on programme and to design.

ELHT&Me testimonial

The charity manager expressed her gratitude of Vercity Consultancy involvement, at both site level in delivering the project and in the interactions with her team, ensuring their ideas for creating the best space possible were heard. The Project Company has been recognised by the Trust and Executive for contributing and building relationships across the board.

“ELHT&Me, East Lancashire Hospitals Charity had a vision to establish a more visible presence at the front of Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital. This was to include a charity hub for engagement with NHS staff and the community, a retail outlet selling new goods in the form of a gift shop, and office space for three charity staff.

There is no doubt that if it was not for Martyn Ashcroft’s understanding of our vision, along with his wholehearted support from the outset, the project would not have been completed to the standard that it now is. Along with Martyn’s expertise and help in so many areas, and a grant from NHS Charities Together we are now in our Charity Hub, with all elements of the plan working harmoniously.

The charity hub and retail outlet will have an immediate effect on increasing charitable funds and gives the platform for the charity to act on all its requirements to deliver a quality service to staff, patients and their families. Martyn’s help has ensured that 100% of the profits will go directly to ELHT&Me from the day it opened.

This really is the finest example of having a vision and with the right support and expertise delivering from the second it opened.”

Denise Gee | Charity Manager | ELHT&Me

Additional charity revenue

The ELHT HUB has resulted in levels of new revenue to the charity, not accessible before.

Now they have a shop and can sell the charity brand and goods from a key location in the hospital, with all the proceeds going to straight into the charity. Spend can now include high value equipment not previously possible, such as essential medical equipment the Trust may not be able to afford to buy, this can now be purchased with a donation from the charity. The project has enhanced the charity’s ability to give even more back to the Trust.

Project Company Director Testimonial

“This is a wonderful example of how multiple parties have come together to offer their time and expertise to develop this high quality charity hub. ELHT&Me provides much needed funding and support to the hospital community, with this hub showcasing their work in an area of high footfall. This has already driven further fund raising, awareness and education and it clearly couldn’t have been possible without the passion of Martyn from Vercity and Denise from ELHT&Me. We see this impactful initiative as scalable across all UK hospitals, and we are looking to champion other charity hubs across our wider hospital portfolio.”

James Heath | Director of the Project Company and Director | Asset Management at InfraRed

This project won Gold Standard on 19th June 2023 at the InfraRed Creating Better Futures Awards.

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