By Damian Dolan
A GAA club in Nottingham has raised £10,000 after responding to an emergency appeal to help local frontline NHS workers, as they battle against coronavirus.
St Barnabas GFC, nine playing members of whom currently work for the NHS, organised a charity head shave event for 8 April. All proceeds will go to Nottingham Hospital Charity.
Due to the demands currently being placed on NHS staff, the charity is helping to maintain the wellbeing of doctors, nurses and health professionals in Nottingham by providing care packages and important wellness support, as well as extra equipment.
More than 35 people signed up to take part (in isolation) with the club setting up a Justgiving page for donations.
Having nine members currently involved in the fight against Covid-19, inspired the club to try and do something to help.
‘They don’t go into great detail on what they see day-to-day in the wards, because it’s obviously very sensitive, but they’re just driving the message that people have to stay indoors – because they’re seeing it first-hand,” St Barnabas’ chairperson Michael Cattermole told the Irish World.
“There’s guys here who’ve been pulled in from their own departments to work on the Covid-19 wards in Nottingham.
“There’s guys who can’t go home – they can’t go anywhere, they’re not allowed home.”
At its AGM, the club had already outlined its intention this year to support a local Nottingham charity.
When Nottingham Hospital Charity recently put out an emergency appeal to ‘Help Your Hospital Heroes’, the club responded.
Its initial fundraising target of £1,000 was reached within 24 hours with subsequent targets of £2,500, £4,000 and £5,000 also quickly surpassed.
“It’s been amazing the number of guys who’ve put themselves forward to do it. We’ve got ladies’ partners doing it as well as ex-players,” said Michael, who comes from Tyrone and has been involved with St Barnabas for ten years.
“We thought we’d have about 12 doing it, but we’ve been blown away by the amount of guys who contacted us saying they’re happy to take part.”
The club has also set up a volunteer support service to help anyone in Nottingham in need of help with shopping or medical requirements.