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How your support has made a difference during the pandemic

The last 12 months have been the most challenging that most of us will face in our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic has taken an incredible toll on individuals and on our communities.

For Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, demand for our services has doubled, while – in common with so many charities – our income has fallen by hundreds of thousands of pounds. Without your support during this year of lockdown, some of those vital services would have been forced to close, leaving the most vulnerable to cope alone.

In the toughest year yet, your contribution will stand out forever

Your incredible backing means we have been there for the people who need us most right now – and in the future.

During this year, one of the most difficult of our generation, your fundraising, donations and volunteering support has;

  • Provided life-line support for 17,450 people affected by chest, heart and stroke conditions - including Covid 19 - through our services.
  • Launched a new national service with our NHS heroes – supporting people with severe lung conditions including Covid-19 to get home from hospital.
  • Recruited 6,352 volunteers delivering 35,260 acts of kindness in communities across Scotland.
  • Made over 4,011 phone calls to people who are lonely or isolated.
  • Helped our kindness volunteers do 1,100 dog walks and 2,003 shopping deliveries for vulnerable people.
  • Shared life-saving messages and Covid-19 advice 22,327 times online.

The work of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland was immediately affected by the restrictions put in place as coronavirus cases threatened to run out of control across the UK in March 2020.

We faced an immediate challenge: how could we continue to deliver vital services during the Covid-19 lockdown?

Adapting to the pandemic

We immediately switched to virtual delivery, establishing a virtual call centre for our Advice Line. With increased demand from those recovering from the effects of the pandemic, our Hospital to Home service expanded its delivery of lung and heart care.

Our shops had to close, while all our fundraising events were postponed and eventually cancelled. But when we needed you, you were there.

Last March we launched the Scotland Against Coronavirus campaign, calling for volunteers to use their social media feeds to save lives and share essential information about the virus. More than 1,000 people joined the campaign in its first 48 hours.

Our appeal for Kindness Volunteers was the first mass volunteering drive of the pandemic in Scotland, attracting more than 6,000 volunteers keen to offer their help to those who needed it. In a normal year, we would attract only around a quarter of that number to volunteer, demonstrating both the depth of the coronavirus crisis and also the strong community feeling that began to shine through in an increasingly difficult situation.

Over the year, our Kindness Volunteers have delivered shopping to those shielding from the virus and made thousands of weekly calls to check in on those who feel isolated, scared or lonely.

Virtual fundraising events took off, including our Step-Up Challenge with participants climbing the equivalent of 282
Munros using stairs or steps to raise more than £16,000.

Our Help Answer Our Call emergency fundraising appeal raised more than £50,000, again demonstrating the amazing desire for people like you to do more for their community.

While the country went in and out of lockdown, our shops - staffed by our amazing volunteers - reopened and closed when required.

And all the while we stayed focused on our number one priority: helping people who needed support more than ever.

As the vaccination programme is rolled out further, we can tentatively look forward to returning to some kind of normality.

Looking forward

But the effects of coronavirus continue to reverberate, particularly in those now suffering from Long Covid who will now benefit from a new service part funded by The Scottish Government.

Meanwhile, our No Life Half Lived campaign - to ensure those suffering from chest, heart and stroke conditions can live full lives with the right support - gathers pace.

We could not do any of this without our dedicated fundraisers, supporters and volunteers. In a year to forget for many, your contribution will stand out forever.

Donations from you make all the difference, and all the money raised stays in Scotland.

People are leaving hospital feeling scared and alone. You can change that.

Your donation can help people do more than just survive – you can help them really live.


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