The increase in the cost of living is affecting many people including NHS staff.

When NHS staff here at SASH NHS Trust face a change in circumstances which causes urgent financial hardship, we want to be able to help. Because the wellbeing of people working in the NHS directly affects their ability to deliver high standards of care to patients and families. 

Urgent short term help - thanks to your support

Where staff experience a change in circumstances which causes an urgent short term need, our new staff hardship fund allows us to help, by making one-off hardship grants. This has been established thanks to the generousity of a number of colleagues here at SASH who wanted to help colleagues in need, and we need your help to be able to continue it beyond initial funds available. 

If you would like to donate directly to the staff hardship fund, please click here. More information on the fund is below, including how to apply for a grant if you work at SASH and are in a financial crisis. 

Help available before you apply

Before applying for a hardship grant from SASH Charity, staff who are struggling are encouraged to access help via the Trust's intranet 'SASHnet' wellbeing support hub (link here which works on a Trust computer). The hub contains a full section on financial support, including how to get advice from experts, help applying for in work benefits people may be entitled to, debt advice, and more.

We would also encourage colleagues to review Surrey County Council's cost of living Directory of Support

We would also suggest contacting your local Citizens Advice Bereau (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/) as they can be hugely helpful with helping people in need. 

About the SASH Charity Hardship Fund

The hardship fund has been established to help staff facing urgent financial hardship, through making one-off grants of up to £1,000. The grants are charitable, based on need, and not connected to an individuals performance in their role. As the hospital charity we are able to support this thanks to donations, as part of a broader approach to staff welfare. Because staff wellbeing directly affects the quality of care experienced by patients. 

Hardship is defined as something or circumstances that have caused difficult or unpleasant conditions of life – an example might be financial hardship causing a person or people (eg a family unit) hunger and suffering, deprivation, oppression or a lack of comfort as a result.

Hardship Fund grants can be considered for all types of reasons such as, but not limited to, the following - costs such as childcare; travel and general living costs, such as rent, food, and utility costs, clothing and essential food supplies. Consideration can be given for grants to help meet exceptional costs, such as repairs to or replacement of essential household equipment, assistance with reasonable priority debts, and other emergency situations which arise. More details are on the application form below.

What grants can I apply for?

Grants will be awarded at the following levels:

  • Level one – Up to £100
  • Level two - £101 - £1,000
  • The aim is to help as many people as possible in hardship and grants can only be awarded up to the value in the charitable fund.
  • Applications are limited to one application at each level of grant shown above in any one financial year (the financial year runs from April through to March).
  • These grants are (only) available to people employed by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, who are facing urgent financial need.

The grants are 100% funded by donations to SASH Charity. In the first instance, it has been possible to establish the fund thanks to the kind support of consultants at SASH, many of whom made a donation in 2021 to help support the welfare of their colleagues.

  

How to apply

Firstly - please seek help via the routes listed above in 'Before you apply' section above, including SASHNet, the Council cost of living support directory, and potentially speaking to your local Citizens Advice Bereau

If you still need urgent help - fill in the application form below and email it to sash.hardshipfund@nhs.net

All personal and financial information will be kept confidential and will be kept limited in its distribution.

Your name will only be known to the Charity team and a finance colleague (necessary for responding to your application), but will be removed from the form which goes to the assessing panel, to protect your privacy.

 

Can I donate to the hardship fund?

Yes. SASH Charity welcomes one off or regular donations to the fund. Donate directly to the hardship grants fund below