The Denise Coates Foundation, the charity set up by bet365 co-chief executive Denise Coates, has awarded a £10m (€11.3m/$12.3m) grant to a regional UK National Health Service (NHS) charity to support staff and patients during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) Charity, the recipient of the grant, will use the funds to deliver a number of schemes aimed at enhancing patient care and supporting staff.
The initiatives will be rolled out at the UHNM’s Royal Stoke Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford. bet365’s global headquarters is located near to both of the hospitals in Stoke-on-Trent.
“As a result of Covid-19 we have rapidly established new ways of working but in some circumstances are lacking the technology to do this in the most effective way,” UHNM chief executive Tracy Bullock said.
“This investment will help fund schemes and provide latest technology to improve communications between clinicians; between clinicians and patients and between patients and their families.”
Coates (pictured), who serves as a trustee of the Foundation in her name, added: “We have all seen and heard the events unfold in the media as day after day the number of those infected increases and the number of those who tragically lose their lives also rises.
“There are many stories of people suffering without the comfort of close friends and family as restrictions on people’s movement prevent loved ones visiting.
“This is why I and the other trustees felt we had to step forward and approach the UHNM to see what we could do to help. We are sure that the funding the Foundation provides will make a huge difference to the Hospital, the staff and more broadly the people of North Staffordshire and the surrounding area.”
The grant represents that latest support initiative offered by the gambling sector to the NHS during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. This week, it was revealed that British gambling operators would donate £2.6m in profits from the 2020 virtual Grand National to the NHS.
Bookmakers including Bet365, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Bet, William Hill, Betfred, Betway and the UK Tote Group – as well as Inspired Entertainment – agreed to donate profits from the event after winnings and duties are paid, to NHS charities.
Meanwhile, The Jockey Club, the governing body of horse racing in the UK, said it would donate 10,000 tickets to the NHS and social care sector for the first day of the 2021 Grand National Festival. Tickets will be available to staff in Merseyside, with the Grand National traditionally taking place at local racecourse, Aintree.
The Coates family, comprising bet365 co-chief executives Denise and John, and the business’ chair Peter, were named the UK’s biggest taxpayer in the 2018-19 fiscal year, after paying £276m for the period.