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NNUH Foundation Day invites public to see behind the scenes

Celebrating 250 years of caring for patients, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) will be throwing open its doors this year on Saturday 11 June and inviting members of the public to come and see behind the scenes, meet the hospital teams and see some of the world class facilities on site.

The hospital “Foundation Day” starts at 11am and runs to 3pm and visitors will be able to try their hand at pathology with our laboratory staff, discover how our gut works, take a tour of our new interventional radiology and children’s theatres and walk through time with a wall of history of the last 250 years.

Senior nurses pictured in 1864

The day which open to all ages is a chance for people to find out more about the region’s busiest acute hospital and also help raise money for the Norfolk & Norwich Hospitals Charity.

Car parking in the NNUH car park will be free during the event and other activities taking place during the day include:

• Meeting our cardiology team and see how we treat heart conditions
• Finding out more about working at the hospital
• Meeting our organ donation team
• Meet the “inflatable poo”! and hear about food and health research from the Quadram Institute
• Discover about managing diabetes
• Learn how to protect your skin in the sun
• Displays of old uniforms and historical objects
• Take part in some traditional fete games
• View wartime and vintage vehicles
• Say hello to therapy dogs
• Browse the wide variety of stalls
• Sample our cakes and enjoy a barbecue.

David White, chairman for the NNUH said: “There have been huge advances in technology since the inception of the Norfolk and Norwich, over the years our hospital has touched the lives of every local family and this year we want to celebrate both our achievements and our history.

“Caring for the sick remains our mission and as we celebrate the 250th anniversary we want to share this major milestone and the achievements we have provided down the generations with the Norfolk & Waveney community”.

The hospital was established in 1772 at a cost of £13,323, with a medical staff and matron, plus 20 beds ordered. In 2001, our hospital was rebuilt and opened at Colney Lane for a cost of £229m and now has over 1200 beds and 10,000 staff, treating over one million patients every year.

It became a teaching hospital, in partnership with the University of East Anglia, after moving to the new site along with an increased focus on research as part of the Norwich Research Park.

Louise Cook, head of fundraising for the N&N Hospitals Charity, said: “This event is only possible thanks to the generous support of our staff, volunteers and partners Serco and Octagon.”

For a detailed programme of events celebrating 250 years visit https://www.nnuh.nhs.uk/about-us/250th-anniversary-of-nn-hospital/events/ and if you would like to make a donation to the N&N Hospital Charity please visit www.nnhospitalscharity.org.uk


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Woman’s fundraising run for children’s hospital in memory of sister-in-law

A Norwich woman is taking part in her first marathon in memory of her sister-in-law who died in 1993 at the age of 20.

On May 2, Zoe Harcourt will line up with hundreds of others for the start of the Milton Keynes Marathon.

As well as recognising sister-in-law Tanya Harcourt’s battle against Cystic Fibrosis, Zoe will be raising money for the N&N Hospitals Charity to support children being treated for CF at the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital.

Zoe said: “This will be my first marathon. I recently completed a half marathon which was my first ever competitive race.

“I turned 50 last year and I was able to celebrate but I wanted to do something in Tanya’s memory for what would have been her 50th birthday on June 7 this year.”

Zoe’s daughter Jade, who now works at the N&N, was just a baby when Tanya died, and her son Liam never met his aunt.

Zoe said: “Tanya was a happy, bubbly and popular young girl. She lived life to the full even while spending a lot of her life in and out of hospital.

“She was an amazing auntie to Jade which was unfortunately cut very short as she passed away when Jade was only three months old.

“She fought long and hard battling this disease but unfortunately she lost, leaving a big hole in the hearts of her family and friends.

“Tanya’s mum, dad and brother are blown away by the support and donations that have been made in her memory.”

Catharine Moates, Lead Children’s CF/Respiratory Nurse Specialist, said: “We are so grateful to Zoe for choosing to support our department here at the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital in this wonderful tribute to Tanya on what would have been her 50th year.

“Thank you to everyone who has donated to support our young patients and we wish Zoe all the best for her marathon challenge.”

If you would like to support Zoe, visit her fundraising page here:


To find out more about the N&N Hospitals Charity please visit www.nnhospitalscharity.org.uk


Tanya Harcourt and Zoe Harcourt who is running a marathon to raise funds for Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital

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Thousands raised for hospital charity after Sainsbury worker’s Santa challenge

An employee at Sainsbury’s in Norwich has raised £4,548 for the N&N Hospitals Charity’s new £1m appeal, by dressing up as Santa Claus throughout his shifts in December.

Simon Game, from Bowthorpe, who works as a personal shopper in the Longwater branch, collected donations from generous shoppers, while the store itself had charity buckets and information about the plan to create the Norfolk and Norwich Orthopaedic Centre (NANOC).

The £11.4m innovative orthopaedic elective centre will see the N&N Hospitals Charity investing £2m for equipment, £1m of which has already been raised.

The cause is close to Simon’s heart after he underwent hip surgery a number of years ago following crippling arthritis which had left him in unbearable pain.

Now, Simon is backing the new centre which will carry out around 2,500 orthopaedic cases a year for patients who need ankle, foot, hip, knee or shoulder operations.

Simon said: “I waited 18 months for my new hip and the pain was horrendous at times. I had trouble walking, needed to use crutches or a frame to get around, and I often needed to sit down. I was unable to drive because of pain in even using the clutch.

“Just eight weeks after the operation, I was back at work, could start driving again and lead a normal life. I want to support the appeal because I know, first hand, the difference this has made to me.”

Simon said the support he received from shoppers and colleagues had been overwhelming: “People have been so generous, putting donations into the buckets and wishing me well, and the management have been wonderful in supporting me.

“I’m just so pleased to have raised so much for this fantastic cause.”

You can support the NANOC appeal and fund out more here https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/NANOC

Picture captions: John Paul Garside Charity Director with Tom Niblock, Manager Sainsbury’s Longwater; Sainsbury’s staff with John Paul Garside (Simon Game is 4th from left)

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Augmented reality headsets purchased by the charity

State-of-the-art augmented reality headsets have been purchased by the Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity to be used for interventional radiology research, training and surgical planning.

The HoloLens Augmented Reality headset works by overlaying digital images onto the clinician’s field of view, allowing surgeons to easily access imaging and other data during surgery.

Two headsets and software were purchased thanks to a £35,000 grant from the charity.

Registrar Jordan Curl-Roper said the equipment was being used for teaching, training and research and has huge potential to benefit patients.

“A patient will have a CT scan before undergoing a procedure and the surgeon needs to memorise these images.

“The HoloLens headset enables the surgeon to have the scan images, heart rate and other observations directly in front of them and can be easily referenced, which helps enormously during surgery.

“This also speeds up the procedure which reduces the radiation dose, benefitting both patients and staff.”

At the moment, the headsets are being used for training and research but it is hoped they will be used on patients in the near future once approval is granted.

Julie Cooper, Head of Grants, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for the charity to be able to support innovation and use of the latest technology in our hospitals. We look forward to hearing about how this project develops, and the benefits that it will bring to NHS patients.”

Funding for the headsets was made possible thanks to generous donations to the hospital charity.

If you would like to find out more about the work of the charity, visit our website at https://nnhospitalscharity.org.uk/ or follow us on social media @nnhospcharity

CrombieAugmented reality headsets purchased by the charity
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Norfolk Cycle Challenge to celebrate 250 years of NNUH

A new cycle challenge has been set by the Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity in celebration of the hospital’s 250th anniversary.

The fitness fundraising challenge is part of the celebrations to mark the special anniversary in our county’s healthcare history, allowing the charity to also celebrate 250 years of philanthropy.

Work began on original hospital in St Stephens, in the heart of Norwich city centre, began in 1771 and opened for patients in 1772 with 100 beds, all of which could only happen with the generosity of donations. The hospital was later rebuilt at the present Colney Lane site and opened to patients in 2001.

For 2022, the N&N Hospitals Charity is challenging everyone to participate in the Norfolk Village Cycle Challenge. Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced cyclist, we want you to get on your bike to fundraise and or donate in multiples of £25 to represent the 250 years of charitable donations that has benefited our NHS hospital.

Among the challenges are to cycle to and around as many of Norfolk’s villages and towns; choose to cycle 2.5, 25 or 250 miles to mark our anniversary or even tailor an option to suit your own specific requirements, ability and timelines.

The aim is to have fun fundraising and to go out and visit the amazing landmarks around our beautiful county.

To find out more and download your pack: fundraising@nnuh@nhs.uk or www.nnhospitalscharity.org.uk/support-us/event-listings/

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Latest development unveiled in breast cancer unit

A new waiting area and reception has been opened for patients attending the breast cancer unit at the N&N.

The new area is the latest development in the project to create a new unit, funded by donations to the N&N Hospitals Charity’s Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal.

The waiting area includes walls decorated with images produced by artist Gilly McCadden.

Gilly said: “The brief was to create something with a very naturalistic feel and so, in early spring last year when I was thinking about this on walks in the village that I live, I thought the hedgerows were perfect inspiration.

“The spring shoots of our native wild rose was the obvious choice and the starting point for the image.”

Gilly said her own breast cancer diagnosis more than 14 years ago was behind her decision to take on the project: “I remember exactly what it was like being in a waiting area, you don’t forget something like that, all that sitting around and waiting and the anxiety of not knowing what the news is going to be.”

The breast cancer unit handles all referrals of suspected breast cancer from GPs, the number which has almost doubled in recent years.

The Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal has raised more than £523,000, which has been used to purchase a Stereotactic mammography system which uses low-dose x-rays to help locate a breast abnormality and remove a tissue and is less invasive than surgical biopsy.

Also now being used is a Hologic LOCalizer guidance system so that very small breast cancers can be more accurately and less invasively identified during diagnosis and surgery, improving the patient’s experience and further reducing the need for multiple visits to hospital.

Dr Arne Juette, Consultant Radiologist and Director of Breast Screening at the Trust, said: “It’s wonderful to see the new waiting area in the expanded breast unit which gives patients a more holistic experience in a soothing environment.

“The artwork adds such a lovely touch to the area, and it’s particularly special for us that it has been designed by an artist who knows first hand what our patients are experiencing and this comes through in the images through the unit.”

The next phase of the breast cancer unit development is the creation of patient counselling rooms and if you would like to support this through the Boudicca Appeal please go to our website https://nnhospitalscharity.org.uk/


  • The new Boudicca Breast Unit waiting and reception area.
  • From left, Breast Care Sisters Lynne Priestley and Joanna McGrath
CrombieLatest development unveiled in breast cancer unit
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School’s festive single to support hospital charity

A father who raised thousands for the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital running the Loch Ness Marathon is now hoping a musical venture will be the first of many fundraising projects at the school where he works.

Elliott Catchpole, a science teacher at Wymondham High Academy, raised £8,395 in October along with fellow runners James Flannigan and Jonathan Lee for the hospital where Elliott’s son Oscar has been treated since six months old.

Now aged three, Oscar suffers potentially life-threatening epileptic seizures because of a rare genetic disorder, but his fight and determination has inspired his dad to continue fundraising.

Ahead of the festive season, Mr Catchpole has been working alongside the music department and school pupils to create a Christmas single which be available to download with an online donation. There will also have a limited number of CD copies to sell, with all proceeds going towards N&N Hospitals Charity.

Mr Catchpole said: “It’s fantastic that Principal Jonathan Rockey intends to direct all Wymondham High Academy Trust’s fundraising towards N&N Hospitals Charity.

“The school’s ethos is to create individuals who act with responsibility, determination and humility. I have seen first-hand that these are integral aspects of being a health care professional and, as such, the key workers at the N&N are role models for our pupils at Wymondham High Academy.

“I am very excited at the prospect of the school and charity being able to work together to make a real positive influence in the community and to inspire the young minds in our school.”

The Christmas song will be played throughout the school, the N&N Hospital Radio station, and hopefully on local radio stations and local supermarkets.

Download the single here https://christmastome.bandcamp.com/releases

For more information about the N&N Hospitals Charity and how you can support us, go to


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Celebrating the success of robotic-assisted surgical programme

The success of a robotic-assisted surgery programme, funded by a £1m donation by the N&N Hospitals Charity, has been celebrated after reaching a landmark at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The Trust became the first hospital in the region to carry out bowel cancer surgeries using robotic-assisted technology in 2017. Over the last four years staff have carried out 200 colorectal surgeries using this minimally invasive method.

The Sir Thomas Browne Academic Colorectal Unit now has three Consultants who carry out robotic-assisted colorectal surgery and has piloted a project for trainee surgeons to develop their skills.

Irshad Shaikh, Consultant Colorectal and lead Robotic colorectal surgeon said: “We are one of the pioneers in colorectal robotic-assisted surgery and we have all the technology to deliver high quality surgery that benefits the patient enormously with minimally invasive approach, which leads to faster recovery and faster discharge from hospital. Over the last four years we have performed in excess of 200 operations with really good outcomes using 4th generation advanced technology. We regularly host consultant surgeons from the rest of the country and aiming to become a national reference centre with fellowship, proctoring and registrar training programmes and complex cancer surgery programs. We hope this will not only benefit Norfolk but also rest of the UK teams.

“There is nothing more satisfying when you tell a patient who has come in with a problem like a cancer or tumour that it has been successfully removed and that smile drives you to do even more and better.”

The Trust has two da Vinci 4th generation robots in main theatres, which were funded by the £1m charity donation.

Ahmed El Hadi, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, said: “We are one of the largest colorectal units in the country and the most important thing is what our robotic-assisted surgery programme delivers for patients. The data and audits show us that we are consistently getting good results in regards to outcomes from surgery and length of stay. It has been a big team effort and has taken a lot of hard work and I am proud to see the service reaching this stage.

“It is nice to see there is a programme in our unit to get more and more people trained and we have become an established European accredited centre to take on fellowships from across the world.”

For a behind the scenes look at the robotic-assisted colorectal (bowel cancer surgery) surgical programme, view this five minute video


CrombieCelebrating the success of robotic-assisted surgical programme
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Sainsbury’s worker’s festive fundraiser for new surgical centre

A £1m N&N Hospitals Charity appeal to help create an innovative orthopaedic elective centre has received a festive boost from an employee at Sainsbury’s in Longwater, Norwich.

Simon Game was just 50 when he underwent hip surgery after crippling arthritis had left him in unbearable pain.

Now, Simon is backing the plan to create the Norfolk and Norwich Orthopaedic Centre (NANOC) which will carry out around 2,500 orthopaedic cases a year for patients who need ankle, foot, hip, knee or shoulder operations.

The £11.4m centre will see the N&N Hospitals Charity investing £2m for equipment, £1m of which has already been raised.

From December 1-24, Simon, who works as a personal shopper in the Longwater store, will be doing his role on the shop floor dressed as Santa Claus, while the store itself will have charity buckets and information about the appeal on each of its tills.

Simon said: “I waited 18 months for my new hip and the pain was horrendous at times. I had trouble walking, needed to use crutches or a frame to get around, and I often needed to sit down.

“Just eight weeks after the operation, I was back at work and leading a normal life. I want to support the appeal because I know, first hand, the difference this has made to me and I am so grateful to the management and colleagues at Sainsbury’s Longwater for also supporting this.

“The store welcomes 40,000 shoppers a week so we hope everyone will get behind us.”

Simon’s fundraising begins on December 1 when he will be arriving at work in style, courtesy of JJ Limousines who are waiving their £170 fee to transport Santa Simon.

Jim Wimhurst, NNUH Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, said: “To have support  like this from Simon and the team at Sainsbury’s Longwater is wonderful news and is a fantastic example of the community getting behind us.

“Hearing what a difference hip surgery has made to Simon’s day-to-day life emphasises how important the new Norfolk and Norwich Orthopaedic Centre (NANOC) will be to the people of Norfolk. We thank Sainsbury’s for backing our NANOC appeal during December and we hope Santa Simon puts a smile on shoppers’ faces.”

You can support the NANOC appeal and fund out more here https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/NANOC


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Charities lead health improvement across Norfolk and Waveney thanks to national grant

This autumn, a series of charity funded projects across Norfolk and Waveney will start to benefit communities recovering from the pandemic, thanks to a national grant of nearly £500,000 from NHS Charities Together.

At a local level, the Norfolk Community Foundation has been working with grass roots organisations to use the two-year funding towards a series of projects, with finances administered by the Norfolk & Norwich Hospitals Charity on behalf of the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System.

Local NHS organisations have been working together to ensure the projects meet health needs with the aim of protecting the most vulnerable from Covid-19, supporting people with mental health issues related to the pandemic and promoting healthier communities.

Earlier in the year, bids were encouraged from across Norfolk and Waveney with ten organisations being selected to run projects covering support for older people, vulnerable communities and those with physical and mental health issues.

The successful projects will be run by Caring Together, EPIC Norfolk, DIAL Great Yarmouth, Age UK Norwich, Menscraft, New Routes, Norfolk & Waveney Mind, Norfolk Deaf Association, The Big C, and the Magdalene Group.

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “With our health service facing its most difficult winter ever, ongoing support for the NHS has never been more important. And because healthcare doesn’t begin and end in hospital, we are so proud to be working in partnership with our members to deliver additional support in local communities.

“These projects will create meaningful health benefits for people across Norfolk and Waveney – including addressing mental health needs and protecting groups most affected by COVID-19. Together, we can help the NHS go further and achieve better health and care for us all.”

Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Chair-designate of Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System and the new NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) which is set to become a statutory body in April 2022, said: “We are very grateful to NHS Charities Together for this generous amount which is great news for the people of Norfolk and Waveney. The pandemic has impacted all of us, but people in our community who are vulnerable and the community charities who support them have been hit particularly hard.

“This is a great example of how health and social care, voluntary groups and charities can work in partnership to make a real difference to the lives of local people.”

John Paul Garside, Director of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity, says: “We are delighted to be supporting this important work to help the vulnerable communities in Norfolk and Waveney.  Our hospitals have seen at first hand the devastation that the pandemic has brought to people’s health and we want to do everything we can to support the recovery.”

Claire Cullens, Chief Executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, says: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, our fantastic charities and community groups have been the glue that has held communities together and offered a vital lifeline to many, helping people to cope day to day, or with an urgent response to sudden crisis. We’re proud to champion their innovation and determination as they continue to tackle the physical and psychological impact of a global crisis.”

Kathryn Ellis, Executive Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Responsible Officer for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Assembly, Norfolk & Waveney Integrated Care System, said: “Through this investment we have an opportunity to test new approaches to deliver health and care and embed the prevention agenda into the heart of our integrated care system. Over the next 2 years, we will have opportunity to illustrate how health and social care partners can work collaboratively with VCSE colleagues in support of our most vulnerable communities”.

Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney VCSE Assembly, Emma Ratzer commented how positive the funding was for our integrated care system’s partnerships, saying: “This funding is a very exciting opportunity to further demonstrate the benefits the voluntary sector provides to individuals and communities, whilst concurrently forging new relationships and understanding with system partners. This fund will work to the strengths of our local VCSE sector to support those who are most affected by the pandemic and where possible help prevent further impact on individuals health and wellbeing.”

Notes to editors

Details of the projects funded:

Age UK Norwich is leading a pilot to enhance the NHS Social Prescribing delivery within Norwich, specifically to support older people to improve their physical or mental health.

Dial Gt Yarmouth is working in partnership with Great Yarmouth Borough Council, East Suffolk District Council and James Paget Hospital, seeks to provide supportive and preventative non-medical support to those who are awaiting elective orthopaedic surgery and are at risk of worsening physical and mental health.

EPIC Norfolk is finding a new way of supporting patients to rehabilitate in the community following discharge from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Menscraft will be supporting men who are waiting for a range of clinical interventions, especially mental health, through engaging in positive activities provided by weekly local pop up Pit Stops.

New Routes will be employing a new Health and Wellbeing Coordinator to support asylum seekers, recently resettled refugees and other ethnic minorities through promoting social inclusion and preventing people from becoming socially excluded.

Norfolk and Waveney Mind will be offering a nature-based, physical activities programme in across Norfolk and Waveney to establish self-sustaining running and walking groups for those experiencing or at risk of poor mental health because of the impact of the pandemic.

Norfolk Deaf Association will be using the Cuppa Care mobile facility, which is equipped with a range of information and facilities for making refreshments, from which members of staff and volunteers will engage with the local community, providing a listening ear, appropriate support, information and advice.

The Big C will pilot a 12-week nutrition and physical activity programmes for cancer patients aimed at lifestyle and behavioural change, including advice on healthy eating, weight management and “mood and food”, plus health walks for mental Wellbeing and cooking demonstrations.

The Magdalene Group will fund a specialist Women’s Worker to be based within the Doorways Womens Project and will form trusting relationships to deliver a range of support including 1:1 sessions and advocacy, street outreach, prison support and COVID-19 and other healthcare awareness.

Caring Together will address an unmet need for a counselling service in the system focused primarily on carers and recent former carers. The project will prevent carer crisis and breakdown by providing a professional counselling and talking therapy service.

About NHS Charities Together

NHS Charities Together is the national, independent charity caring for the NHS. We support a network of 240 NHS charities and, together, provide the extra help needed in hospitals, health boards, and ambulance, community, and mental health trusts across the UK.

We’re here to support the people of the NHS, in every part the country, every day of the week. And we make sure funds get to exactly where they are needed and will make the most impact.

To date, NHS Charities Together has allocated £140 million in a range of projects supporting NHS charities, staff, patients and volunteers. These include counselling services, helplines, and intensive psychological support for NHS staff, plus patient focused initiatives like training for emergency responders, research into long COVID, and specialist equipment. And we’re investing in projects that make access to healthcare more equal – so the best of NHS care is available to everyone, both now and in the future.

But the NHS is facing the most challenging time in its history – and NHS resources have their limits. With pressures on services mounting, our support has never been more vital. Together, we can help the NHS go further and achieve better health and care for us all.

To find out more visit www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk



MercyCharities lead health improvement across Norfolk and Waveney thanks to national grant
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