ITV horse racing presenter Ed Chamberlin has backed the appeal for a new emergency and trauma department at Southampton Children’s Hospital.
The Broughton-based host, who previously worked on Sky Sports News and the broadcaster’s Monday Night Football programme, called the appeal “an amazing cause” as he urged people to show their support.
The £4.8 million facility is expected to treat more than 30,000 youngsters every year from across Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire, Berkshire, West Sussex, the Channel Islands and Oxfordshire.
It will see the development of a state-of-the-art eight-bed observation area, 11 glass-fronted and sound proof cubicles and on-hand x-ray facilities.
The appeal is being led by Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity – part of Southampton Hospital Charity – and The Murray Parish Trust (TMPT).
They aim to raise £2 million in donations which will be matched by the government along with a further £800,000 allocated by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
The fundraising total now stands at £947,000, just £53,000 short of the first £1 million – a crucial milestone that will enable building work on the development to commence.
“I am delighted to support the appeal for a new children’s emergency and trauma department in Southampton, it is an amazing cause and will be a fantastic facility for thousands of young patients and their families from across the south when it reaches completion,” said Ed, who was treated for stomach cancer at Southampton General Hospital in 2009.
“It is a special cause for me, not just as a father of two young children myself but also as a former patient of this hospital trust, where I got to see firsthand the excellence of staff who were absolutely fantastic in terms of the care they offered me.”
He added: “While the clinical care provided by the children’s doctors, nurses and other staff in emergency care at the hospital is outstanding, they are in need of facilities which reflect this and will enable them to meet growing demand.”
Ed said he had followed some of the activities of members of the public, businesses, families and staff who had contributed to the fundraising campaign so far and praised the “commitment and dedication” shown.
“The campaign and appeal has really captured the attention of the community, with so many individuals and groups going to great lengths to show their support,” he said.
“I would urge everyone to keep up the excellent work and keep donating so we make sure this great development becomes a reality.”
For more information on the appeal and how to get involved, visit www.southamptonhospitalcharity.org/appeals.