A big hello from the Major Gifts team! Myself and Jeneen are the team who oversees the Children’s Emergency and Trauma Department appeal. It’s really exciting to be writing a blog to update you all on how the appeal is going and what your brilliant support is achieving!

Jeneen and I spend most of our time working with all the fantastic companies, Trusts, Foundations and individuals who are fundraising or making donations towards the appeal. Our partners for this appeal are the fantastic The Murray Parish Trust, without them our appeal would not have been possible! Sam Robson and the incredible team at The Murray Parish Trust have been working tirelessly to raise funds and we love getting to work in partnership with them. And of course we are grateful to Jim Murray and Sarah Parish who give so much of their time to support and energy to the cause.

We are always inspired by the brilliant things people do to support our charity. As fundraisers the best bit of our job is getting to meet you all. No two days are ever the same; one day we might be donning high-vis and a hard hat to show a Charitable Trust around the shell of the new building, presenting to a charity committee or even putting a company Director in plaster to raise money!

And why do we (and all of you brilliant fundraisers) do it?

At the moment it is for our Children’s Emergency and Trauma Department and in the future we will be working to help fund more transformational projects, which will support thousands of patients at University Hospital Southampton (UHS).

Our appeal to fund a purpose built and state of the art paediatric emergency department started in 2016. Together with our fundraising partners The Murray Parish Trust we lobbied the government and were successful in securing £2m of matched funding to support the project. This, alongside the £1.1m of investment for UHS, meant we could get started fundraising!

After just over year of fundraising we had £1m of fundraised income in the bank and the build of the new department was able to commence in April! The construction company Brymor are creating a bespoke department; with bigger more private rooms, more treatment areas and a relocated Short Stay Unit for those poorly children who need further care! The whole department will be a “journey through Hampshire” with each area capturing the beauty of the county, from the New Forest to the water of the Solent.

The Acute Assessment Unit will be the first phase of the build to be completed and operational, this should happen this winter. After this the new reception, x-ray and treatment room will follow. In mid 2019 the whole department will be complete when the Short Stay Unit is up and running.

This new department will transform emergency care in the South of England, providing children and their families with the very best care, in the very best of environments. We know that coming to an Emergency Department can be a little scary for children, but the new department will make it feel as welcoming as possible.

We also know that for others a trip to the hospital can make them anxious or leave them feeling a bit bored! With its beautiful artwork, especially designed using feedback from children and young people, and distraction equipment, including LED sky panels and 3d V-pods, there will be plenty to keep little minds occupied.

The Children’s Emergency and Trauma Department will be a lasting legacy, which will save thousands of lives each year. We could never have hoped to fund this new department without the support of people like you! To see how the whole community has gotten behind this appeal has been inspiring. We hope you never have to use the service, however if you do you’ll know that your community helped to make it happen.

For us the most inspiring thing about working on this appeal has been seeing the passion and enthusiasm of the Emergency and Trauma Team. We mentioned at the start of this blog how much we love our jobs and all the strange things we end up doing for it, and the Emergency and Trauma team have been there with us every step of the way. They have joined us for pitches and presentations, as well as starring in videos and speaking on the radio. We can’t help but be motivated by their excitement about the new department, and we cannot wait to see their faces when it is handed over to them!

So finally a huge thank you from us for all you have done to help make this appeal possible.

Charlie, Major Gifts Manager