National Friendly and The Bristol Hippodrome to fund Long-Covid research

National Friendly and The Bristol Hippodrome to fund Long-Covid research

Posted on: 15 Nov 2021

Southmead Hospital Charity, National Friendly and The Bristol Hippodrome are embarking on a fundraising appeal which aims to raise £30,000 to support the Long-Covid research now taking place at the hospital. 


Southmead Hospital’s official Charity, National Friendly (a mutual society catering for members’ health, welfare and protection needs) and Bristol’s largest theatre venue will be collaborating for the fundraising project.



Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK wake up every day feeling breathless, fatigued with aching muscles not being able to remember much of the previous week because of Long-Covid and doctors currently cannot provide treatment.


Known as DISCOVER Study, the research as recruited over 300 patients that have been hospitalised with Covid-19. Being the first UK cohort published, this group have been studied for the longest time of any.


A team of researchers from Southmead Hospital is currently attempting to find out more about the long-term effects of Covid-19. 


Renowned for world-leading research through the specialist Research & Innovation Centre, each year 7,000 patients take part in over 500 research studies, with some made possible thanks to donations from community partners like National Friendly and The Bristol Hippodrome.


Kurtis Reece (National Friendly’s PR and Strategic Partnerships Executive) explained why they are backing the efforts to understand more about the virus, stating: 


“We have been helping people to prepare for life’s contingencies for over 150-years, by insuring people’s health and providing them with protection. So, looking after those around us, especially within the Bristol community, our hometown, is the very essence of who we are.”


Southmead Hospital Charity will benefit from a concentrated fundraising campaign, across a 12-week period which will begin on the 9 November 2021 and will end on 12 February 2022.


The Hippodrome’s fundraising will start with Heather’s The Musical and continue through several shows including the yearly pantomime. Theatregoers will be able to donate to the Southmead Hospital research within the theatre.


National Friendly is also running an exclusive online competition with The Bristol Hippodrome, which will see five family tickets go up for grabs for the pantomime performance.



Speaking about the project Adrian Brown (Southmead Hospital Charity’s Community & Events Manager) added: 


“The symptoms of Long-Covid can be wide-ranging, long-lasting and for some, life-changing. If we want to control Coronavirus, we must develop our knowledge of how the virus spreads, the symptoms it causes and its long-term impact. The research happening here at Southmead will play an important role in that. 


“National Friendly and The Bristol Hippodrome know just how important it is to support the local community they serve and we are incredibly grateful for their support.”


To support National Friendly’s fundraising efforts with The Bristol Hippodrome, visit the website.

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Stanley Gray

Stan is a born and bred Bristolian, recently graduated from studying English Literature in Sheffield. His passions are music and literature and spends the majority of his time in venues all over the city immersing himself in Bristol’s alternative music scene. A lifelong Bristol City fan, Stan’s Saturday’s are spent watching his team both home and away.