Abseil raises thousands for hospital charity

Thousands of pounds has been raised for the N&N by more than 60 brave fundraisers who took part in a charity abseil.

Organised by the N&N Hospitals Charity, more than 60 people took on the challenge at the weekend which started 40ft up on the fourth floor of the East Atrium.

Dave Talbot, from Adventure Events, provided full training and calmed the nerves before the abseilers made their descent.

Among those taking part was Chief Nurse Nancy Fontaine, Chairman Tom Spink, head of Chaplaincy Rev Adrian Woodbridge, and Chaplain Rev Penny Warner, along with fellow staff members and members of the public.

Lynn Crombie, from the Hospital Charity said: “With donations and sponsorship still coming in, a final figure has yet to be confirmed but we expect that the event will have raised at least £7,000 which will benefit staff and patients at the N&N.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took part, came along and supported their friends and colleagues and donated to our charity.”

Visit our website for more information about the hospital charity.


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Football club showcases support for hospital charity

A community football club are sporting a new logo on its shirts in recognition of the hospital which helped to save the life of one of its volunteers.

Steve Normanton, a referee and linesman and volunteer at Long Stratton Football Club, was treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital several years ago, after suffering a heart attack.

The 69-year-old from Long Stratton underwent surgery where a pacemaker and stents were placed. Last year, Steve bought some new kits for the club which will carry the N&N Hospitals Charity logo for the 2022/23 season.

Long Stratton Football Club is a growing community club which caters for a huge diversity of age ranges.

Steve said: “People don’t realise that getting the heart stents have given me a new life – the second chance is a gift and I want the shirts to carry the logo to thank them for what they did for me.

“I want people to be aware that they can come out better than before after something like this.”

“The football club caters from mini kickers (aged 6 upwards) all through the age groups male and female. We have five adult teams all the way up to walking football with our most senior player being 72 years old.”

Club Chairman Paul Simmons said: “We as a club are delighted to with Steve’s financial gift to support this wonderful charity.”

Lynn Crombie, from the N&N Hospitals Charity, said: “It’s lovely to see the team wearing these fantastic new kits bearing our logo and spreading awareness about our charity which supports staff and patients at the N&N.”

For more information about the hospital charity and how you can support, go to

Picture caption: Far left, back row, Steve Normanton with the team from Long Stratton Football Club and, individual photo, player Ewan Chamberlain.


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N&N staff member completes European cycle trip for charity

A N&N staff member’s 620-mile cycle journey across Europe has raised £561 for the ward where he works.

Docking ward Healthcare Assistant Lewis Leadley set off in June from Norwich, catching the train to Harwich, and then the crossing by ferry to the Hook of Holland.

Lewis then cycled through Holland, Germany, and then through Denmark into Sweden, as far as Gothenburg.

He said: “I was able to camp most days, although I did treat myself to an Air B&B on one night and stayed in hostels whilst in cities.”

“Everything went smoothly, although on one occasion in Germany, whilst following Google Maps – I was unable to find my designated campsite. The sun had already set and so I was pushed to setup camp off the road near a field. Afterwards I discovered that wild camping is illegal in Germany, so I was lucky to avoid a large fine.”

Lewis was inspired to take on the adventure by one of his patients, a Dutch patient made the initial suggestion to cycle in Holland, and the plan grew from there.

He said: “This year marks the 250th anniversary of Norfolk having a hospital and I wanted to support the Hospital Charity to help benefit the staff.

Lewis, who rides a hybrid bike – a cross between a road and mountain bike – is now planning his next trip.

Lynn Crombie, from the N&N Hospitals Charity, said: “We are so pleased to hear about Lewis’ fundraising journey across Europe, raising a fantastic amount which will directly benefit the ward where he works.

“It’s truly inspiring to hear about his travels and the places he was able to visit with very little beyond a bike and a tent.”

You can find out more about the N&N Hospitals Charity and how you can get involved here



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Take on the abseil challenge for N&N Hospitals Charity

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is on the lookout for thrill seekers who would like to take on an abseil challenge while supporting the N&N Hospitals Charity.

The challenge on Saturday October 1, starts 40ft up on the fourth floor of the East Atrium where qualified events team leader Dave Talbot, from Adventure Events, will provide full training and support on the day.

Participate as a team or as an individual in support of our hospitals during this 250th anniversary year at NNUH’s first ever on-site abseil challenge.

Among the first to sign up was Chief Nurse Nancy Fontaine and Chaplaincy team member Rev Penny Warner.

Prof Fontaine said: “I’m so excited to take part in the first ever event of its kind here at the hospital site, in the year we celebrate 250 years of caring at the N&N and 250 years of philanthropy.

“I hope staff and members of the public will sign up and join me for what promises to be a wonderful way to support our hospital’s charity whose help make such a difference to funding projects that make a difference to our patients and staff.”

No experience is necessary, and registration is now open for £40 for non-staff, £20 for NNUH staff, and £60 for a team of four. Participants are asked to raise a minimum sponsorship of £100 and you can raise money for any one of our special projects, departments or causes.

Participants of 15 years and over can take part, but if you are under 18, full parent consent will be required.

Back in 2019, ITV Anglia presenter Becky Jago joined staff and members of the public to abseil down The Forum in Norwich to support the Boudicca Appeal for a new dedicated breast cancer unit at NNUH.

For more information and to take part, go to

Visit our website for more information about the hospital charity.

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Bishop of Norwich to open his gardens to help celebrate 250 years of NNUH

Enjoy the chance to walk around the Bishop of Norwich’s garden and celebrate 250 years of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

The rare opportunity to enjoy the beautiful gardens takes place on Sunday 31 July between 1pm and 4.30pm and live music will be performed by The Saxonettes, Harry Browne and one of our own consultants, Richard Wharton.

The Bishop’s Garden will be selling plants on the day and there will also be a chance to read about the history of the NNUH over the past 250 years.

Cakes and hot drinks will be on offer and other activities include a quiz to keep the children occupied.

The four-acre organically run garden has a great selection of plants on offer, including a wildflower labyrinth, a small woodland walk, the recently added herb garden, boxed rose garden with fountain, bamboo glade and central lawn. 

Louise Cook, Head of Fundraising, said: “This is a truly wonderful garden in the city centre and we are very grateful to Bishop Graham for giving us this opportunity to be one of the nominated charities for the private gardens this year. We’re hoping that with all the warm weather we have had the garden will be looking beautiful in July.”

“We are also incredibly grateful to the support of volunteers for giving up their time to help us and local companies including Sponge and Old Hall Farm for helping us with gifts in kind for the day.”

Admission costs £5 per adult with accompanied children and wheelchair users free. Assistance dogs only allowed and last entry on the day is 4pm.  All monies raised from entry fee and sale of refreshments go to the N&N Hospital Charity.

To purchase a ticket in advance visit and more information about the gardens visit

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Join the brew crew on 5 July ​

Communities are being urged to get involved in the nation’s biggest brew to help raise funds for the NHS.

Led by NHS Charities Together, the NHS Big Tea on Tuesday 5 July brings the nation together to celebrate the birthday of the NHS and give thanks to the workforce, while raising funds to provide the extra support needed for staff, patients, and volunteers.

In tandem with the NHS’ 74th birthday, health and social workers can also take the opportunity to celebrate and reflect on their incredible role taking care of the public, during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Now entering its fifth year, all funds raised from the NHS Big Tea contribute to key projects supporting staff mental health, the long-term recovery of the NHS following Covid-19, and community partnership programmes that prevent ill health and will take pressure off services in the future.

Last year more than 4,800 hosts signed up, collectively raising over £500,000. In addition to individuals, schools, community groups and organisations, more than 150 NHS charities were involved, including the N&N Hospitals Charity. This year, NHS Charities Together hopes to make the event the biggest NHS Big Tea to date, with a collective fundraising target of over £775,000.

Louise Cook, Head of Fundraising at NNUH said: “We are delighted that the Big Tea proved so popular in 2021 with so many people and groups of all ages taking part from picnics at school to cake in the office. We hope many more join in this year and remember you can have your Big Tea Party at any time not just on July 5. We are starting our Big Tea Party early with a fantastic cake stall at our hospital Fete on 11 June run by one of our volunteers Reece.

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive at NHS Charities Together, said: “The NHS can’t face every challenge alone, and the network of NHS charities is proud to have funded hundreds of incredible projects supporting staff, patients and communities. By hosting tea parties and inviting your friends, colleagues or classmates, the NHS Big Tea allows us to come together and say an enormous thank you to our incredible NHS – especially after all they’ve been through these last two years, and the ongoing challenges they continue to face.

“So, whether at home, in the office or in school, we’re asking the nation to pop the kettle on, grab the biscuits, and raise vital funds to help the NHS go further this July.”

To sign up to host your own NHS Big Tea event and receive a fundraising support pack, please visit

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Family raises £55,000 in baby Harrison’s memory

A Norwich couple who started fundraising in memory of their baby son have raised more than £55,000 to help other families.

Claire and Simon Nicholl, from Eaton, suffered heartbreak when their son Harrison Alexander Nicholl died four days after being born in February 2010.

Harrison had been born weighing 7lb 14oz but became distressed during delivery and was treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at NNUH.

Since then, Claire and Simon and their family and friends have fundraised in Harrison’s memory, including organising charity balls and walks, with donations split between the N&N Hospitals Charity and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

Items purchased for NICU include a £6,000 portable ventilator and most recently, £3,000 towards a VCreate secure video technology system.

Claire and Simon, who are also parents to daughter Emily, said: “We are so pleased that the money raised from the most recent Harrison’s Ball will be used for this piece of software. I cannot imagine what it would have been like if we were not able to sit with Harrison 24 hours a day, but throughout the pandemic parents have not always been able to do this.”

The secure video messaging service allows hospital staff to send regular video and photo messages to parents, so they don’t miss crucial moments of their child’s first weeks.

The messages can be accessed on any device, whenever the parents want, and can be downloaded and kept forever.

NICU Matron Paula Mellor said: “The VCreate system has made a huge difference to families, particularly during the restrictions we faced due to Covid-19. We are so grateful to Claire and Simon for their wonderful generosity which enables us to continue to provide videos and photos to our NICU families.”

Louise Cook, Head of Fundraising, said: “We are so honoured that Harrison’s family and friends have chosen to continue to support us over the years, making a huge difference to our NICU parents.

“It’s wonderful that Harrison’s legacy continues to inspire so many people to donate in his name and we are so grateful.”

You can find out more about the N&N Hospitals Charity and how you can support us at our website

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Mobile cancer unit celebrates first anniversary

A service that has brought cancer care closer to people’s homes is celebrating its first anniversary next month.

The Mobile Cancer Care Unit (MCCU) hit the roads of Norfolk and Waveney last year, thanks to an innovative partnership between the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and cancer charity Hope for Tomorrow.

Since its launch, more than 1,000 patients have been treated in the mobile unit in Attleborough, Beccles, Dereham and Fakenham.

The mobile unit and Nurses’ Support Vehicle (NSV) is owned and maintained by Hope for Tomorrow and the NNUH staffing costs are covered by the Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity for the first three years. The vehicle has space for four recliner treatment chairs, infusion pumps, a kitchen area and patient toilet.

A celebration event will take place outside the Colney Centre at NNUH on Monday 9 May between 2pm and 4pm.

Joanna Richardson, Lead Cancer Nurse at NNUH, said: “We are delighted to celebrate the anniversary of Amara, our MCCU, which has already made a huge difference to patients’ lives. Starting the service through Covid-19 gave us many challenges including restricting the number of chairs in use for social distancing, enhanced infection control procedures and maintaining staffing levels. This has provided local services to patients during a time of great anxiety and disruption, enabling them to continue their cancer treatment in a safe environment.

“It has been a fantastic achievement with huge enthusiasm from the nurses and clinicians. It enables the teams to work in a variety of settings, adapting skills and experience but most importantly meeting their patient needs and offering a first-class service.”

NNUH is the biggest cancer centre in the East of England and the Weybourne Day Unit carries out more than 20,000 chemotherapy and other cancer treatments a year.

In 2019, anticipating the increase in demand for chemotherapy, we partnered with Hope for Tomorrow who have been working with the NHS since 2007. The vison of the charity is to support patients who are going through cancer treatment by alleviating the stresses and strains of travelling for appointments, along with supporting NHS trusts in reducing hospital waiting times. This fits with the NNUH five-year cancer strategy and long-term plan to bring care closer to home.

We undertook a postcode mapping exercise to identify four possible locations for the Mobile Cancer Care Unit, which were identified as being more than 20 minutes travel from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and identified supermarkets at Attleborough, Beccles, Dereham and Fakenham who all had large car parks, café, and toilet facilities, and were very keen to support their community.

Tina Seymour, CEO for Hope for Tomorrow, said: “We are really proud to have been able to provide a Mobile Cancer Care Unit to NNUH and to enable their amazing team to take their cancer care into the heart of their communities. We look forward to working with them for many years to continue this incredible service.”

John Paul Garside, Charity Director for NNUH, added: “We are delighted to have provide funding from a legacy received by the charity to support the Mobile Cancer Care Unit, which has funded staffing costs and clinical equipment. Working in conjunction with Hope for Tomorrow means that the N&N Hospitals Charity is at the heart of helping to be part of improving facilities for cancer patients across Norfolk.”

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Historic yacht makes fundraising journey

A motor yacht used in 1940 to rescue British soldiers at Dunkirk is preparing to set off on a new mission to raise money for two charities.

The yacht Estrallita is owned by Tony Billson, from Diss, who spent five years painstakingly restoring her and researching her history.

Next month, Royal Navy veterans Tony, Tommy Morrison and Michael (Jack) Hawkins, who served on HMS Bulwark in the 1970s, will set off from Lowestoft, taking in ports along their journey to Poole.

Members of the public will be invited to come on board and learn more about the history of the ‘Little Ship’ and donations can be made which will support the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital where Tony’s daughter, Rachel Chaudhary works, and the armed forces charity SSAFA.

Tony found the Estrallita in a poor state of repair in Ramsgate, with no idea about her history, which included tragedy, celebrity, name changes and a commendable wartime record in Poole. The journey next month will include a Dunkirk plaque-laying ceremony taking place in Portsmouth and a trip up the Thames to take part in the 40-year Falklands War commemorations. Between 1940 and 1945 the Estrallita was used by the Royal Navy as a harbour patrol boat in Poole, defending against invasion and to rescue downed pilots in the English Channel.

Tony said: “Last year, we took her out for the first time and sailed to Ramsgate so now we are aiming to go even further, raising as much money as possible for the two charities.”

During his research, Tony discovered Estrallita had operated as a Harbour Patrol vessel at Poole during the Second World War.

Her duties were to protect the harbour channels, and specifically to block the channels if there was an invasion by sinking designated Block Ships or as a last resort to sacrifice herself to delay any advance. Estrallita was one of six vessels deployed for this purpose but was the only one that was retained throughout the war.

In 1960s the vessel was owned by Hughie Green as a place to stay during the summer season going from resort to resort and it was on one of these excursions from Shoreham to Morecombe that Green became involved in a rescue off the coast of Cornwall after spotting red flares at sea.

No other ship responded to the call for help, believing the flares to be regular RAF flares which were regularly used. Green successfully campaigned for red flares to only be used at sea in distress which is the case today.

You can find out more about the Estrallita restoration and updates of the trip and where you can come onboard via the Facebook page

Lynn Crombie, NNUH Fundraising Co-ordinator said: “It is fantastic that a little boat with such a colourful history which has saved lives is now going to heling to raise money to improve the lives of our young patients at the Jenny Lind. We wish Tony and his crew a safe time at sea as they embark on this wonderful coastal journey.”

You can make a donation to the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital via the JustGiving page

For more information about the N&N Hospitals Charity, go to

For more information on the Estrallita go to

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Taking to the skies for Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal

A woman is preparing to take to the skies above Norfolk to raise money for the hospital which cared for her grandmother during her breast cancer treatment.

Emily Petch will take part in the charity skydive on 9 July with money raised going to the Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Emily, who is originally from Norwich but now living in London, said: “My Nanny, Pat Petch, unfortunately passed away in November aged 79 after a 15-year battle with breast cancer, and she was always so thankful for the NHS and the staff at NNUH for their constant care and empathy.”

“I am so grateful for how the staff supported my Nanny and I want to contribute towards the new breast cancer unit, so they can continue to help families just as they have helped mine.”

The latest development in the project to create a new breast cancer unit has been the opening of a reception and waiting area, funded by donations to the Boudicca Appeal.

The breast cancer unit handles all referrals of suspected breast cancer, which have almost doubled in recent years.
The Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal has raised more than £500,000, 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.

Emily, 23, said: “I am going to pay for the skydive out of my own pocket, so 100 per cent of the money I raise will go directly to the Boudicca Appeal. My Nanny always spoke so highly of the incredible treatment she received at the N&N al during this time, and she was very grateful for the kindness and empathy shown by the staff.”

Dr Arne Juette, Consultant Radiologist and Director of Breast Screening, said: “We are so grateful to the donations we have received in recent years and it’s fantastic that people like Emily are continuing to support the Boudicca Appeal. It’s wonderful to see the new unit coming together and everything that has been achieved. We are looking forward to the next development which is the creation of patient counselling rooms.”

You can sponsor Emily and her skydive via her JustGiving page

For more information about the N&N Hospitals Charity and how you can help please visit or follow us on social media @NNHospCharity

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