THOUSANDS of pounds have been raised to support NHS staff in Southampton.

A total of £8,573 has been raised in just over three days to support NHS staff who work at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS).

It comes as last Friday Southampton Hospitals Charity launched a campaign following an increased demand for services and frontline staff at UHS due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The news also follows the #ThereWithYou campaign which has seen local newspapers across the country publishing the same frontpage on Friday to support residents and commit to shine a light on unsung heroes in local communities.

Now Catherine Jordan, from Southampton Hospitals Charity, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support shown from the community, and especially The Echo readers. We’ve raised nearly £10,000 and this is going to make a big impact on our initiatives to support staff wellbeing. Plans are currently underway to furnish a safe space for staff to receive the support they need, be that mental or physical.”

As previously reported, details of how the money will be spent are still being finalised as staff members are asked what they need the most.

But charity bosses had previously said that part of the money raised will be spent on staff rehydration stations across the hospitals in the city to provide staff with tea and coffee.

Ms Jordan added: “As the COVID-19 crisis develops, we know that more of our staff will require our help, so we are continuing to do everything in our power to support them in any way we can. There is still so much to do as healthcare never stops, and neither will we.”

Ms Jordan had previously said part of the money will be used to help where the need is greatest as it arises.

A target for the fundraising campaign has not been set. Charity bosses had previously said they understand this is a difficult situation for the community and it would be difficult to set a target.

The initiative is aimed at boosting morale and support the mental health and wellbeing of the frontline NHS staff who are caring for Covid-19 patients.

To donate visit or text NHSHEROES 3 to 70460 to donate £3; NHSHEROES 5 to 70460 to donate £5; NHSHEROES 10 to 70460 to donate £10.