The Denise Coates Foundation made a £10million donation to an NHS trust to aid the fight against coronavirus as a way to ‘show support and commitment’ during these troubling times.
Coates, the billionaire joint CEO of gambling company Bet365, made the donation to University Hospitals of North Midlands via her charity foundation to support staff in the NHS trust which covers her home town of Stoke-on-Trent.
The NHS has come under immense strain during the ongoing pandemic and members of the public have been doing all they can to show their support for the frontline workers.
The Clap for our Carers campaign has urged people to applaud medical staff during the crisis, while volunteers have been going shopping for NHS workers who are too tired after long shifts to do it themselves.
Donations have also been made to trusts around the country to aid the fight against COVID-19, with the Coates family doing their bit.
And Peter Coates, Denise’s father and chairman of Stoke City, joined talkSPORT to explain the £10m donation.
“The National Health Service has always been very special to this country,” said Coates, who is one of the trustees of the Denise Coates Foundation.
“They’ve never been called upon as they have at this moment, and they’ve risen to it magnificently.
“I don’t want to use a war analogy, but it is like being on the front line as their lives are at risk. Their response has been just outstanding.
“Denise wanted to do something, and John [Coates, Peter’s son and joint CEO of Bet365 with Denise] and myself also, and we’ve made this contribution. We wanted to play our part and show we were fully supportive.
“We wanted to do something tangible to show our support and commitment, and we felt this was a way of doing it. And we are pleased to be able to do it.”
While there is much appreciation for the NHS right now, Coates, the 82-year-old businessman, wants to ensure people remember the healthcare system’s brilliant work during the crisis when the coronavirus pandemic is finally over.
Give COVID-19 the red card
The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pubs, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…
STAY AT HOME. Only leave for the following purposes:
- to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
- to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
- for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
- to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary
For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.
The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
And this involves the government showing their appreciation by properly funding an under-resourced NHS.
“I think we should never forget,” continued Coates. “That is the important thing.
“It will come and go as memories fade, but we should never forget and we must always be there making sure the NHS is properly funded and all the people who work in it are properly rewarded.
“That’s how we must always show our appreciation.”
As well as the NHS donation, Coates has also ensured employees at both Stoke City and Bet365 that they will be paid in full until the end of August.
This includes matchday staff, who will get a salary for every game postponed due to the pandemic.
On this gesture, he added: “We are all in this together and all these people are part of our business, and in what we all do together they are all important. We feel everyone should be treated and looked after in the same way.
“John and I discussed [paying matchday staff for postponed games], and that’s what we wanted to do.”