Voice for Hong Kong Episode One | Mr. Luke de Pulford
9th February, 2020
Achieving over four times the initial target, all funds have channelled directly to the UK’s frontline healthcare workers through two hospital trusts.
In late March 2020, The Umbrella Union launched an online fundraising campaign “We Connect”, calling for Hong Kongers in the UK and all those who have Hong Kong-UK connections to support frontline healthcare staff at the NHS during the challenging times of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The fundraising campaign received an overwhelmingly positive response: within 24 hours, it has already raised its initial target amount £10000. The total amount of donations quadrupled its initial target from almost 900 individual and group donors within a week. HongKongers left dozens of heart-warming messages in support of the frontline healthcare professionals.
The full amount of donations, after deducting administrative costs from the online fundraising platform, has been passed directly to the University College London Hospitals Charity and St. George’s Hospital Charity; each receiving £22,776.30. We identified the hospitals most in need to tackle the Coronavirus through media reports. We also prepared thank-you cards, attaching messages of support from HongKongers to the NHS staff.
“I am proud of, and would like to humbly thank the many Hong Kongers who are standing with the UK during this critical time, showing incredible solidarity to all the NHS staff.” said Simon Cheng, the honorary chair of The Umbrella Union. “We are not hesitant to help in our capacity, seeing people suffer from disasters, diseases, or unfair systems. Humankind should help each other to achieve fair, safe, free, democratic, and just societies.”
“St George's Hospital Charity would very much like to thank the Hong Kong community for their generous donations and warm messages of thanks and appreciation for our amazing NHS staff who are working tirelessly during this crisis. We will ensure that the funds go towards vital projects and support to all our hospital staff and our most vulnerable patients.”, said Amerjit Chohan, CEO, St George's Hospital Charity.
The Umbrella Union launched this campaign because of the level and depth of historic links between Hong Kong and the UK. In 1887, the first medical college in Hong Kong was established by the British, nurturing Dr. Sun Yat-Sen as one of its first graduates. Throughout the 20th century, the British government in Hong Kong fostered good professional health services and education.
With the effort from generations of HongKongers, Hong Kong became one of the most advanced and well- developed healthcare and medication systems in Asia. Right until today, there are extensive cultural, educational, professional and business networks between Hong Kong and the UK, and the Umbrella Union commits itself to continuing this values and principles in solidarity.
During its course, the campaign also received much global attention to rally for a full effort of donations. The Umbrella Union would like to thank all the support including retweets, mentions and spreading of messages from British MPs, Hong Kong Watch, Friends of Hong Kong, Britons in Hong Kong, Manchester Stands with Hong Kong, HongKongers4US, DC4HK, former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, and many more.