The impact of the pandemic upon young people brings a renewed sense of urgency to supporting crucial projects around the UK, according to one philanthropist.
The Leus Family Foundation was established by the businessman and philanthropist Dmitry Leus. Born in Turkmenistan and now living with his family in the UK, Leus founded the charity to support children who are challenged by illness, poverty or special needs.
“The guiding principle of the Leus Family Foundation is that as a society we should be investing in every child. Every child deserves opportunity and to feel valued. If we invest in children, we are investing in our future. We know that some children – whether they are born into poverty, have special needs or suffer an illness – need an extra boost in order to fulfil their potential. That is our mission at the Foundation – to make a positive impact on their lives and to give them a sense of possibility. We see that our support is needed now more than ever due to the pandemic and the way that isolation and lack of resources has impacted vulnerable children in particular.” explains Leus.
The Leus Foundation supports multiple organisations, ranging from hospital charities such as St George’s and the Royal Free, as well as Runnymede Foodbank, plus youth clubs such as Bright Lights and Harrow.
“Their efforts with young people who are in danger of being recruited by gangs is vital. They have a real impact, helping the most marginalised young people to maximise their life chances and to enhance their personal development, getting them on the road to employment and building their resilience and well-being. It is a great pleasure to provide the bus as a practical support for this great work.”
Leus’s work with economically disadvantaged young people is not limited to the Harrow area. He is also behind an initiative to get children from state schools in the Brixton area engaged with the sport of fencing. Together with Christopher Tidmarsh QC, Leus is determined to make the sport accessible for all and the duo began this mission in South London. They started by giving demonstrations in local state schools so that local children could see fencing for themselves, often for the very first time. Then they invited 7-11 year olds to attend Junior sessions for free with Brixton Fencing Club so that they could learn together with their peers who already fence.
Leus explains: “Once they join us, if they demonstrate the commitment, we will keep supporting them in the secondary school years. We want them to be absorbed organically into the club and know that they will gain access to coaching and equipment without charge. There is another strong motivation for us. We see the power of fencing to divert a child away from getting into trouble on the street. When a child is training with our coaches and feeling good about the skills they are building, then they are not so vulnerable to gang membership or experimenting with drugs. Fencing is an ideal sport to captivate young minds and build their confidence in a positive way. Yes, you need some aggression to win. But you have to be in control when you are fencing and also respect your opponent. We are delighted to draw youngsters into the rigour and training of fencing, especially when we know they are perhaps disadvantaged and need such direction and passion in their lives.”
Helping those with additional needs
Children and young people with learning difficulties and special needs are also central to the work of the Leus Family Foundation. The Foundation supports Bright Lights, a Runnymede youth club for children with disabilities ranging from autism, Asperger’s, Downs, and moderate-to-severe learning difficulties, with some of them requiring one-to-one care. Children with varying learning and physical disabilities attend the Bright Lights club every Thursday evening for two hours during term time. Dmitry explains: “”We are so pleased to boost the club’s range of toys and equipment so that children attending get the maximum enjoyment out of their time at the club. It is especially meaningful for us to be able to provide two future outings for the children, knowing how much pleasure the children will get from these fun experiences at a privatised trampoline park and Drayton Manor theme park – and of course how much they need it after a more isolated time during the pandemic.”
Dmitry added: “Bright Lights is exactly the kind of organisation we like to work with. They are a small team and they have the energy and commitment needed to make a significant impact to young people who really need this service.”
Support for poorly children
Children suffering serious or long term illness are also a priority for the Leus Family Foundation. The Foundation has a been a long term supporter of St George’s Hospital Charity, with donations targeted at aiding children and their families through the difficulties of illness. The Foundation supported the renovation of a children’s garden at the hospital. Updates to the site include the extension and improvement of the play areas, including a new slide and better wheelchair access. “My long relationship with St George’s has given me a great admiration for the children who are patients here, their families and the amazing staff,” says Leus. “This garden will lift spirits and hopefully provide moments of joy and relaxation between treatments. We were also please to supply ‘Buzzy’ pain relief devices to distract children and reduce any pain when they are having blood tests or injections, which can happen very often during long term illness.”
Leus concludes: “For our Foundation, the common theme throughout all of our work is that each child deserves the best start we can give them. A child does not get to choose their circumstances and when they suffer illness or poverty or are born with a disability, we all have a responsibility to improve their situation, to boost their opportunities. The pandemic and its impact upon young people makes this work more urgent than ever.”
To find out more about the foundation, click here.
Youngsters at a South London hospital are enjoying a revamped Children’s Garden thanks to long-term supporter and philanthropist Dmitry Leus
A new-look Children’s Garden has been unveiled at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, funded by a donation from long-term supporter, philanthropist and creator of the Leus Family Foundation, Dmitry Leus.
“I’m truly honoured to be a supporter of the regeneration,” said Leus, pictured centre above at the opening with (from left) Louise Bellamy (fundraiser, St. George’s Hospital Charity), Michael Wynne-Parker (Leus Foundation trustee), Amerjit Chohan (St George’s Hospital CEO) and Sue Affleck (head nurse of Children’s Services at St George’s).
A welcome outdoor space
The garden, situated in front of the Lanesborough Wing of the hospital, was first opened in 2012 – and hailed as an important new outdoor space for young patients and their families to enjoy, away from a clinical setting. Updates to the site include the extension and improvement of the play areas, including a new slide and better wheelchair access. “My long relationship with St George’s has given me a great admiration for the children who are patients here, their families and the amazing staff,” says Leus. “This garden will lift spirits and hopefully provide moments of joy and relaxation between treatments.”
A significant difference to their wellbeing
Amerjit Chohan, chief executive at St George’s Hospital Charity, hailed the regeneration. “The long-standing support that Leus has given to St George’s Hospital Charity has made a significant difference to the wellbeing of the children in the care of the hospital,” he says. “We very much value our partnership with The Leus Family Foundation.”
An additional seating area will be installed in the spring, donated by The Playground Company, while volunteer Robin Newman and the team from his local company, Gardens and Leaves, generously gave their time to re-paint the fence and tidy up the garden beds.
“Gardens and outdoor spaces within the healthcare environment have long been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in children through physical and psychological stimulation,” says Sue Affleck, the head nurse of Children’s Services. “The Children’s Services teams are absolutely delighted with the regeneration work.”
A long-standing supporter
Leus is a long- standing supporter of St George’s. His work with the hospital charity began in 2017 when he met a 14- year- old girl called Megan who was being treated at the hospital for blood cancer. Megan requested that Leus focus his philanthropy towards the hospital. He eventually funded the manufacturing of “Buzzy’s”, a child- friendly pain distraction device, which makes blood tests and injection procedures less traumatic.
Leus later pledged his support to update the garden, as well as sponsoring a number of additional projects, including a fundraising dinner at House of Parliament for St George’s Hospital Charity and responding to St George’s Hospital’s COVID appeal. Leus is a recognised Children’s Appeal Supporter to St George’s Hospital.
Dmitry Leus is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), a Patron of the Prince of Wales Foundation, Ambassador to the HealthProm charity, Honorary President and Patron of Brixton Fencing Club and due to ongoing links within the charity sector, Leus Family Foundation was established in 2018. Through the foundation Leus has been able to support charities and institutions that innovate in the fields of child development.
For more information on St George’s Hospital Charity click here
On Thursday 29 November an event was held at the Palace of Westminster in aid of St George’s Hospital Charity Children’s Appeal. The event was hosted by Colonel Bob Stewart MP and supported by Imperium Investments, represented by their director Dmitry Leus.
The fundraising gathering was attended by both supporters of the charity and medical staff from St George’s. Celebrities who came along to support St George’s included Lee Ryan, Stephanie Waring from Hollyoaks, Kurran Pooni and Dan Elahi from The Apprentice and Britain’s Got Talent winner Richard Jones.
Colonel Bob Stewart MP welcomed guests, saying: “I am delighted you could all come to this special evening to support the great work done at St George’s Hospital. Thank you also to Dmitry Leus for organising this event and for your amazing efforts supporting St George’s.”
Amerjit Chohan, Chief Executive of St George’s Hospital Charity, expressed appreciation that so many guests had come out to support the charity and thanked Dmitry Leus and Imperium Investments for their continued support of the charity and in making the event happen.
Dmitry Leus, director of Imperium Investments, spoke about his admiration for the work of the hospital and his pride in supporting the charity:
“We are pleased to offer our support, in partnership with St George’s, to make childhood illnesses such as cancer more manageable and less harrowing. We are especially proud we could help make a medical device, the Buzzy, available to young patients to provide natural pain relief to ease injections and giving blood samples. We are also working with St George’s Hospital Charity to redevelop the Children’s Garden, creating a safe, fun and peaceful space for children and their loved ones. The garden will aid with healing emotionally and physically, provide a space for education and learning, and also offer distraction outside of the hospital environment.”
Mr Leus went on to explain that his team’s work with St George’s Hospital Charity forms part of a wider strategy for Imperium Investments, adding:
“For us, the support of young people and children is natural. By improving their situation, we are adding to society and investing in all of our futures.”
Dmitry Leus with former St George’s patient Miles Herne and his father Mark
On Thursday 14th November 2019,St George’s Hospital Charityand Imperium Investments hosted a Children’s Appeal fundraising dinner at the House of Commons, London. The charity’s goal is to raise £1.3m towards refurbishing the children’s wards, creating bright and modern spaces that reflect the exceptional care offered by St George’s staff.
The children’s departments at St George’s Hospital care for nearly 40,000 children every year from across south west London, Surrey, Sussex and beyond. Each child is looked after by an incredible team of staff, from the smallest babies to teenagers and young adults.
There were around 60 guests in attendance on the evening, including Imperium’s business contacts, actor Chizzy Akudolu from Holby City and Strictly Come Dancing, St George’s Hospital Charity trustees and donors, plus doctors, nurses and staff from St George’s Hospital.
Gemma Phillips, General Manager of Children’s Medicine at St George’s Hospital said:
“We have over 750 dedicated and passionate members of staff who go above and beyond every day with the mission of delivering outstanding care every time. One of the reasons why we’re here today is that we need to do more to promote the incredible, life-saving and quality of life enhancing work we do and to garner support to enable us to complete a much needed refurbishment of our children’s wards and facilities, which unfortunately are rather outdated, and no longer fit for purpose for the delivery of modern healthcare.
Our aim is to ensure that we are able to offer an environment that matches the amazing care, so that we have the look and feel of a modern Children’s hospital, recognising that the environment is critical to our young patient’s experience of being in hospital when they are at their most vulnerable. A modern environment would go a long way towards keeping our young patient’s spirits up, as the dark, dull wards do have an impact on the morale of our patients and their families, particularly those who need to be with us for long time or have a disabilities and complex needs.”
Imperium Investments generously hosted the evening and is a longstanding supporter of St George’s Hospital Charity’s Children’s Appeal. Dmitry Leus, CEO and founder of Imperium Investments, and a philanthropist and patron of St George’s Hospital explained at the event: “It’s a great privilege for me to have opportunity to be part of a team with these extraordinary people helping children who face terrible diseases but remain so brave and inspiring.”
Miles Herne, a former young patient at St George’s, shared his hospital experience with guests. In 2018, Miles was diagnosed with a brain tumour that had grown to the size of a satsuma. After his operation, he was supposed to be out of hospital after a week but finally awoke after four weeks. Miles was treated on Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU), the step down unit and Nicholls ward, which cares for children aged 0-18 years. Miles explained that the beds and hoists were too small for his 6-foot frame, the lighting too harsh and the wards were far too hot in the summer. Miles chose to fundraise to improve the hospital environment and equipment for future patients. So far, Miles and his family have risen over £74,000, with fundraising activities including sponsored runs, cycles and head-shaves.
Guests at the event also learned more about Megan, a brave young former patient of St George’s Hospital, with a short film telling her story At the age of 14 Megan was diagnosed with leukaemia and was treated at St George’s, spending over a month in hospital. Megan introduced Dmitry Leus and Imperium to St George’s and the work of the charity, which inspired him to fund new equipment and the regeneration of a children’s garden.
The personalstories of Meganand Miles helped to bring to life the important work of St George’s children’s services and the need to refurbish the children’s wards. Over £7,500 was pledged in donations on the night by guests, which will go towards making this a reality.
Much needed help donated at the most important time
Royal Free Hospital, Princess Royal University Hospital and St George’s Hospital in London have received thousands of pounds for ventilators, critical care capacity, PPE, testing capacity in an act of solidarity by theImperium Investmentscompany in England.
The influx of coronavirus patients has increased five to seven times in London in the last few weeks, and chief executives are alarmed by the speed at which hospital beds are filling up in London.
The problem has been exacerbated because up to 50% staff sickness rates with suspected coronavirus or in vulnerable groups.
According to Chris Hopson, Chief Executive Officer of NHS Providers, London hospitals are facing a ‘continuous tsunami’ of coronavirus patients, and some of them are likely to be overwhelmed in a few days due to staff sickness rates rising.
“London CEOs saying they urgently want a lot more of everything – staff, ventilators, critical care capacity, PPE, testing capacity – but they recognise that their job is to do absolutely the best with what they have got and that’s what they are focused on”, he added.
UK hospitals seek donations to cope with coronavirus outbreak
Trusts and the charities of many hospitals are asking the public to lend their support to staff as quickly as possible via their funds.
Imperium Investment, a London-based company has responded to appeals to help tackle the problem.
The company has donated thousands of pounds to hospitals in England, which will provide the necessary support to protect nurses, doctors and other health care workers fighting the virus on the front line.
The company posted on its Facebook page where Dmitry Leus, CEO and Founder of the Imperium Investments, has said: “Old and young people are losing, risking and having their lives put in jeopardy because of this awful pandemic, I feel that now more than ever, it is my moral duty to help where I can.
And while I have no experience or knowledge in medicine, I am able to donate so that doctors can continue to fight for me, for my family, and for all of us.
I sincerely hope those who see this and are in the fortunate position to be able to support and protect our frontline heroes fight Covid-19 do so in any way they can”.
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has thanked the company by saying: “We are extremely grateful for the incredibly generous donation from Imperium Investments in support of our Covid-19 Emergency Fund.
They have responded resoundingly to our public appeal and their gift will make a tangle difference to our critical work at this time. From the provision of care packages at the end of a very long shift, to psychological support and the creation of physical respite spaces for our staff, Imperium’s donation is directly helping to meet the needs of our local NHS heroes”.
Amerjit Chohan, CEO, St George’s Hospital Charity: “We are particularly grateful to long-term supporters like Imperium Investments who are able to support our NHS staff and our most vulnerable patients during this time of need. Their donation, and overall commitment to the charity will help us make a difference in the coming weeks and months”.
Ian Lush, Chief Executive of Imperial Health Charity,said: “During this extremely challenging period, we’re determined to do everything we can to support our incredible NHS staff as well as the most vulnerable patients who suddenly find themselves in real financial difficulty.
Right now we’re working closely with our NHS colleagues to get support out to staff on the front line – and despite the extraordinary pressure, it’s clear that staff are responding in the most remarkable way”.
“We’re extremely grateful to Dmitry Leus and the Imperium Company for their incredibly generous donation in support of our appeal. We know the scale of the challenge is enormous and this significant contribution will make a huge difference in enabling us to get urgent support to staff on the front line.”
Also, theyexpressed its gratitude to the company in the social network: “Thank you so much @DmitryLeusUK for supporting our urgent appeal and helping our hospitals fight #covid19UK. We are so grateful for your generosity at his crisis. #ThankyouNHS
UK coronavirus deaths rise 27 percent in one day.
April 3: 33,718 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK and 2,921 people have died, the Department for Health confirmed.
April 2: the National Health Service confirmed that 569 people had died after testing positive for the coronavirus in the previous 24 hours.
April 1: The UK has reported 29,474 coronavirus cases and 2,352 deaths linked to the virus.
March 31: 25,150 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the UK and 1,801 people have died, the Department for Health said on Tuesday, March 31.
The deaths of the first British doctors from Covid-19 have intensified pressure on ministers to accelerate the supply of protective equipment and address growing fears among frontline staff that they risk catching and spreading coronavirus.
Doctors died from Covid-19:
Areema Nasreen, 36, mom of three, staff nurse died in the Walsall Manor Hospital, where she had worked for 16 years.
Alfa Sa’adur, a general practitioner, worked for the NHS for nearly 40 years in different hospitals across London. He died on Tuesday aged 68 after a two-week battle with the virus.
Thomas Harvey, a mental health nurse at Goodmayes Hospital in north east London, passed away on Sunday 29th March after contracting Covid-19 from a hospital patient.
Amged El-Hawrani, a 55-year-old ear nose and throat consultant at university hospitals in the north of England.
Adil El Tayar, 64, an organ transplant specialist, had been working at Hereford County Hospital in the west of England as a volunteer in the emergency department
Habib Zaidi, 75, worked in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, southeast England.
Supporters of St George’s Hospital Charity have come together in a drive to raise £500m by 2020 for the Children’s Appeal. The vision of St George’s Hospital Charity is to enhance the patient experience by funding those items, spaces and resources for the hospitals that would not be possible without the kindness of donors. The charity raises money and spends it to ensure donations are making an impact.
Dmitry Leus, director of Imperium Investments and a longstanding supporter of St George’s Hospital Charity, said: “I will never forget my first visit to St George’s Hospital. It made a huge impression on me. I knew I couldn’t just walk away and not do anything. I really can’t bear to see children suffer. It’s one of the hardest things in the world. But at the same time, I am so in awe at how well the children tackle whatever is thrown at them. They are really inspiring. We can make a difference in their lives. Small or even life changing. Therefore, we should do whatever we can.”
Megan, 19, a former patient at St George’s Hospital, spoke recently about the “amazing care” she received at the hospital throughout her treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Megan also pointed out that the environment and entertainment available for children and teens during difficult treatments, as well as creating a comfortable, welcoming and inviting environment for parents who spend large parts of their day with their children at the hospital, are an important part of the hospital experience. She supported the charity’s efforts to improve these parts of the patient and family experience at the hospital. Megan explained: “Even something so simple as having age appropriate books and films for teens can make a difference.”
The Children’s Appeal of St George’s Hospital aims to raise £500,000 by 2020 to provide additional medical equipment, research into pregnancy, better spaces to aid recovery, new staff to deliver specialist play therapy, access to communication aids, family support, and a range of child-friendly activities to brighten long and unfamiliar days in hospital.
St George’s Hospital, Queen Mary’s Hospital and community services in south west London play a key part in the lives of young people. Those who do come to the hospitals, or are looked after in the community, benefit from a wide array of specialist staff.
St George’s Hospital began life in the 1770’s as a ‘hospital for the poor sick’ people of London in a Regency building at Hyde Park Corner (now The Lanesborough Hotel). It was once described as London’s finest residence. The hospital was established by a group of philanthropists led by Sir Henry Hoare circa 1776 and charitable funds have supported St George’s ever since. The charity now raises £1.5m a year to improve the patient experience across all areas of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust.
Donations to St George’s Hospital Charity can be made online at the charity’s website.