The umbrella organisation NHS Charities Together has said that more than £130m has been raised through its Covid-19 emergency appeal in less than four months.
The sum includes the £32.8m raised by the 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore by doing laps of his garden.
More than £30m from the appeal, which was launched in March, has been distributed to local NHS charities to support NHS staff, volunteers and their patients to help tackle the immediate impact of the crisis, including specialised psychological support for staff struggling with stress, trauma and separation from their loved ones as they battled the virus.
NHS Charities Together and NHS England are calling on people to cheer donors for the Covid appeal as part of events to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the NHS on Sunday, 5 July.
In a statement, the charity said: “The focus now is on helping people in the community and supporting NHS staff, volunteers and patients to recover in the long term from the effects of the pandemic.”
Local NHS charities have also widened the scope of their services during the pandemic, including helping vital partnerships outside hospitals, such as hospices, and increasing support for people who are disproportionately affected by the Covid crisis, such as BAME communities.
In the longer term, the charity said that the money raised through the appeal would also fund programmes to help staff and families recover fully once the crisis subsided.
Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “When we started the appeal, we never imagined we would hit a total like this in just a few months. On behalf of all our member charities and the NHS staff, volunteers and patients they support, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has made that possible. Your generosity is making such a difference.”