Cash for Charities: Veterans’ charity Erskine seeks funds for life-saving tests
IT has been caring for our armed forces veterans since it opened as a hospital for the wounded of the First World War and was officially opened by Princess Louise in 1916.
And now, over 100 years later, the charity, which has evolved into known as Erskine, operates Centers of Excellence for the care of our veterans through its care homes, its service residences and activity centres.
A major development in care for its veterans took a step forward when it was decided to appoint nurse practitioners to the Bishopton, Renfrewshire site, with residents able to access tests that would otherwise have meant a trip to the hospital.
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These nominations enabled the charity to introduce a test that could potentially save lives and reduce the risk of serious infections that is now being used in pioneering care for veterans.
For £5,600 a year the charity can carry out procalcitonin tests (PCT) which can lead to early detection of illness and treatment of infections.
Erskine Home Senior Sporting Games event. Photo Jamie Williamson.
This is a move Erskine proposed to be considered for Herald Readers’ Choice Money for Charities and led to the charity being selected as one of our eight finalists .
The Herald is giving charities the chance to take a share of a £125,000 cash giveaway. The charity arm of our parent company, The Gannett Foundation, provides £125,000 in cash to support local charities across the country and we are delighted to have a share of £20,000 to give away in Scotland.
The other seven finalists are Maggie’s Cancer Centres, Calum’s Cabin, Autism Rocks Fife, Beloved Rabbits, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, Man on Inverclyde and Ardgowan Hospice.
We have received hundreds of applications from charities and their supporters following our call for worthy causes to get in touch. We know it’s been a difficult year for charities during the pandemic, with many having to adapt or change the way they work and we wanted to help play our part.
It was a difficult task to select eight charities, but it is now up to readers to decide how much each charity should receive.
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Gareth Toner, Head of Trusts and Foundations for Erskine, said: “The PCT testing project was brought into our homes in 2019 and is funded entirely by voluntary income. Erskine residents have an average age of 85 and more than 60% receive specialist dementia care. The PCT test is extremely beneficial to our residents – via a small blood sample, our staff can test residents for elevated procalcitonin levels which may indicate a bacterial infection. This leads to positive outcomes for residents, including early intervention in case of illness, more accurate diagnosis of infection, better monitoring of antibiotic treatment and prevention of sepsis. It’s fair to say that the test can be lifesaving.
For every token our readers collect, it will go to Erskine who will receive a share of the £20,000 and can carry out these vital tests at their Bishopton nursing home.
Discuss tactics at Erskine Home Senior Sporting Games.Photo by Jamie Williamson.
Ian Cumming MBE, Managing Director of Erskine, said they were delighted to have taken part in the Cash for Charities campaign.
He said: “Our nursing homes provide exceptional care for elderly veterans and their spouses in a bright, warm environment that respects the proud military heritage of our charity. Our fantastic care and support staff are committed to ensuring our veterans can enjoy the high quality of life they all deserve.
Support from Herald readers will help Erskine fund vital new supplies of procalcitonin testing (PCT) equipment for our two care homes in Bishopton. This technology allows us to test residents for elevated levels of procalcitonin which may indicate a bacterial infection. This is extremely beneficial as our medical staff can perform earlier diagnosis and treatment for illnesses, ensuring our veterans maintain the best possible health despite their advanced age and often very complex medical needs.
“I want to sincerely thank your readers for their support and the Gannett Foundation for selecting Erskine and helping our veterans during this difficult time for all of us.”
Throughout November, we’re using tokens every day in The Herald and we’ve asked YOU to decide where that money should be spent.
We are now putting the power to redistribute the money back into the hands of our readers – in November you are invited to collect tokens from our newspapers which can then be sent to collection points in our area or posted. Each token collected will then be used to allocate money to the designated charity. So if your favorite charity collects 50% of all collected tokens, they will receive 50% of the £20,000.
All you have to do is deposit your chips in one of the special Cash for Charities boxes placed in various supermarkets and newsagents.
Tokens can also be posted to us at Herald Readers’ Choice Cash for Charity, 125 Fullarton Drive, Cambuslang, Glasgow, G32 8FG with the token delivery deadline being Sunday 28 November 2021.
You can also deposit tokens at our Cambuslang location or at our office at 194 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HG.