Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity is giving thanks to Waitrose & Partners and the local community after the supermarket’s Community Matters 'green token' scheme raised an incredible £3,797 for our Closer to Care campaign.

The donation will support our £500,000 appeal to fund a new Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at the hospital, which will provide parents with the option to stay overnight, next to their premature or sick babies’ cot. The redeveloped unit will also include a family room, which will offer much-needed privacy for families receiving sensitive news, and a separate space for siblings to
play with toys, and visitors to gather and spend time together.

The Community Champions of five local Waitrose & Partners stores – Guildford, Godalming, Woking, West Byfleet and Farnham – recently presented the cheque to the Guildford hospital’s official charity. Waitrose & Partners stores in Leatherhead and Cobham also ran the Community Matters scheme in aid of the charity.

Emily Cartwright, Community Activities Coordinator at Waitrose & Partners Guildford, was at the presentation and returned to SCBU for the first time since 2008, when her two-day-old son was admitted to special care with suspected Meningitis. Emily said: “All of the doctors and nurses were amazing in their care of my son and 
when reassuring us as new parents throughout such a worrying time. Thankfully, I
 was able to stay on the ward with him so I could continue to feed him, as it was very quiet at the time. But I know how lucky I was as this is not often the case for parents.

It was amazing for me personally that Waitrose was able to raise such a great 
amount for this cause given the experience I had with my son. I can only imagine 
how much more difficult the whole experience would have been if I had had to leave
 him at the hospital overnight.

Since its launch in 2008, the Waitrose Community Matters 'green token' scheme has donated over £30 million to good causes across the country. Once at the checkout, shoppers are given a green token which they can place in one of three boxes, each allocated to a different local cause. At the end of each month, a donation is shared amongst the three charities as a proportion of the number of tokens they’ve received.

Sandy Lowry, Events Fundraising Administrator at Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity, said: “To have the support of local Waitrose stores is fantastic and the donation will make such a huge difference to premature or sick babies, and their families. We are so grateful to the community too for voting for us with your green tokens; thank you.”

Want to help bring families #ClosertoCare for their premature or sick babies?

More about Closer to Care >