With the end of 2019 almost upon us, we have reflected on some of the highlights of what has been a fantastic year it for the N&N Hospitals Charity.
Just last week, our Send A Smile with Santa Appeal ended with us handing over more than 1,400 gifts to our wards to be given to every patient in the N&N on Christmas Day. This has been made possible thanks to the generosity of individuals, groups and business across the county and beyond who have donated gifts for men, women and children. A special mention must go to Buxton Primary School where pupils, parents and staff raised £600 from donations during its four Christmas performances which enabled us to buy presents for so many patients.
Our Christmas Fete was as popular as ever and we once again welcomed Norwich Rock Choir, the Hospital Choir, Busybodies dancers, our Pets and Therapy dogs and Santa Claus. We also saw the switch of our 30 sparkling snowflakes on the front of the building and around the plaza thanks to the generosity of businesses.
SERCO, AA Waste, Brewers, Carters, Check Your Security, Hicks, Shred Station, Hutchings, and Munro have all contributed to make this spectacle possible this year and we hope businesses will continue to support this in the coming years.
Last year, we launched our Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal to raise £800,000 to create a dedicated unit where patients can have the necessary images taken, undergo a biopsy and see their consultant in one appointment. Currently, not all patients are provided with this same-day diagnosis service because of limited capacity in the existing unit.
In October, thanks to the amazing support we have received, we smashed the £250,000 mark we were able to purchase some new equipment for the unit, including 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. We want to say an extra special thank you to the Rotary clubs of Norwich which have tirelessly supported the appeal since its launch, including organising a Boudicca Ball at the Assembly House which raised £25,000, and also the Desira Group in association with Suzuki and East Bilney Coachworks which donated a Suzuki Swift SZ3 which was raffled earlier this month, raising more than £15,000 for Boudicca.
In June, 50 fundraisers took the plunge and abseiled down the front of the Forum in Norwich. ITV Anglia presenter Becky Jago, MP Clive Lewis, NNUH staff and members of the public all came together for this fantastic event, raising £10,000 for the breast cancer appeal.0
The charity was delighted this year to have a field of 50 runners taking part in the ever-popular 10k race around the city, RunNorwich Thanks to Serco, we were able to thank our runners with a Pasta Party before the event.
As part of a year of celebration for the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital His Excellency Mr Torbjörn Sohlström, Sweden’s Ambassador to the UK, visited the N&N in July. He toured the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Children’s Ward and the Paediatric Emergency Department, meeting staff and patients.
Mark Davies, NNUH Chief Executive who retired earlier this year, said the visit was “a great honour for us and pays tribute to Swedish Opera singer Jenny Lind whose charitable efforts helped to found the children’s hospital back in 1854”.
We were hugely thankful to the generosity of a Norfolk farmer after Cromer Hospital received one of its biggest ever donations.
The family of Douglas de Bootman presented a cheque of more than £1m to the N&N Hospitals Charity after the retired farmer left the proceeds of his estate to the hospital. His niece Karen Ballard, from King’s Lynn, said her uncle liked helping others and Mr de Bootman revealed to her a week before his death that he was leaving his legacy to benefit Cromer Hospital. The Trust is currently working with Macmillan Cancer Support to create a state-of-the-art cancer care and support centre, which will increase chemotherapy and treatment space at Cromer Hospital.
Among the major purchases elsewhere, was two Echo machines for the Cardiology Department at a cost of £180,000 from a legacy. With advances in echocardiography, the new systems will help provide a full echocardiographic assessment of patients’ hearts. With the recognised benefits of using strain imaging in the assessment of heart failure, particularly in cardio-oncology, it has been proven to show early evidence of heart failure allowing earlier intervention and therefore better outcomes.
The charity has also been involved in the creation of a Family Bereavement Room on the Delivery Suite thanks to donations of more than £36,000. The bereavement suite enables parents and family members who have lost a baby to have precious time together and to make memories.
None of this would be possible without you, our fundraisers so thank you to every one of you who helped us raise more than £745,000 so far this financial year (not including the Cromer legacy) from taking part in challenges, organising events and generally going above and beyond to raise money.
It just remains for us to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year from us all at N&N Hospitals Charity.
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