April 2017



November news  

30.11.17: Donate to the Wishing Tree Appeal and help families in crisis this Christmas

IMG 0752Imperial Health Charity has launched its Wishing Tree Appeal for Christmas 2017, raising money to support hospital patients and their families facing financial crisis this Christmas.

Every penny donated to this year's appeal will go towards the charity's hardship fund, which awards emergency grants to help patients and their loved ones.The money we raise will be used to help cover household bills, food and clothing costs, as well as travel and accommodation fees so that friends and family can be there to offer much-needed support while patients are in hospital.

Last year the hardship fund awarded a total of £74,000 to help dozens of patients cover sudden and unexpected costs arising from their time in hospital.Ian Lush, Chief Executive of Imperial Health Charity, said: "The hidden costs of supporting a loved one while they are staying in hospital can quickly stack up, making it extremely difficult simply to be together during this difficult time."Please dig deep and help us support patients and their families who are facing financial crisis this Christmas."

To make a donation towards the appeal, call 020 3640 7766, email fundraising@imperialcharity.org.uk or visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk   You can also donate £5 to write a personal Christmas message, which we will hang from one of our Christmas Wishing Trees outside each of the Trust's hospitals - Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea, St Mary's and the Western Eye. Visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk for more information.

15.11.17: Creative course helps patients socialise and develop their artistic skills

IMG 8776Patients are becoming more confident in making art thanks to a creative course that helps them express themselves and get to know each other.

The monthly Art and Wellbeing Course, organised by Imperial Health Charity, features a variety of workshops, designed to help patients develop their artistic skills and enhance their wellbeing and recovery.

A recent workshop brought patients to the St Mary’s A&E to visit the new commissioned artworks by Emma Haworth and Chris Orr RA, before trying their hand creating their own landscapes using ink painting and collages.

Suzanne, one of the workshop regulars, believes initiatives like this can make a huge difference:

“I used to go to a lot of art classes but it’s been quite difficult since I was diagnosed with cancer. The course really helps and I find art therapeutic. I like to be part of a group and I like being instructed and being taken into bits of art that I haven’t done before.”

The workshops offer guidance for patients to help them gain confidence with different art styles. Suzanne believes the community that’s formed around the course is an equally important part of it:

“It’s now become a social thing as well. We’re able to relate to one another. A lot of us are struggling with life and our conditions. You don’t need to talk about it here but you understand that everybody is in a similar situation.”

Kate Pleydell, Arts Officer at the charity, said: “We’re delighted to offer this opportunity to patients. These workshops are a brilliant way for them to build their confidence, see wonderful works of art and do something surprising and stimulating in the hospital.”

“We often hear first-hand from staff and patients just how much of an impact art can have and this course is something that we’re extremely passionate about.”

The course takes place from 2-5pm on the first Saturday of each month with workshops held at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s Hospitals. Anyone interested in joining should contact the charity’s Arts team by emailing arts@imperialcharity.org.uk or phoning 020 3857 9843.

14.11.17: Runners make record time to help friend saved by pioneering stem cell therapy

runnersHitting the wall is a tough test for any runner - but when Dave Brown and Mark Raphael put themselves through the pain barrier at the Belfast Half Marathon, they had a special motivation to reach the finish line.

Dave and Mark completed the 13.1-mile challenge in support of their friend Jonathan Hamilton, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and recently underwent ground-breaking stem cell treatment at Hammersmith Hospital.

"Jonathan has had a challenging time as his condition has progressed," said Dave. "He has been in and out of hospital for consultations, treatment and recovery. Throughout this time he has spent extended periods away from home, his loved ones and his boys, Freddie and Harry."

Jonathan's condition affects his central nervous system. He has mobility problems and walks with to straighten his gait. He also suffers from poor vision, caused by damaged nerves in his brain and spinal cord.

Thanks to the outstanding care of experts at Hammersmith Hospital's haematology department, Jonathan is showing signs of improvement after undergoing stem cell therapy. He finds it easier to walk, is less fatigued and is more alert generally.

One of only a few dozen patients to have received a haemaopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) at Hammersmith, Jonathan is among the first to benefit from the new treatment.

The procedure involved transplanting a special type of stem cell extracted from Jonathan's own blood back into his body while his immune system was suppressed using chemotherapy.

Mark added: "Time will tell how successful this has been but the signs are positive. He is enjoying spending time with his family and he is growing stronger by the day."

To show their appreciation for the team which is helping Jonathan manage his condition, Dave and Mark set out to support The Blood Fund. The pair raised more than £5,000, breaking their own personal best times. 

Their contribution will help fund pioneering research at Hammersmith as well as improvements to the hospital environment for patients with blood disorders.

Inspired by Dave and Mark's story? Find out more about our exciting fundraising opportunities at www.imperialcharity.org.uk/fundraising-events

07.11.17: Mother completes cycle challenge to thank hospital staff who saved her son

ruby8A mother whose baby was saved by doctors at Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital has raised more than £2,000 for Imperial Health Charity by completing a 35-mile cycling challenge.

Ruby Danowski had experienced a normal pregnancy up until baby Vaughn arrived - but a drawn-out and complicated birth left her newborn struggling with a series of complications triggered by his birth asphyxia, which restricted the flow of oxygen to his brain.

 Thankfully, Vaughn was in good hands. Experts in the hospital's neonatal unit were able to provide first-class care, helping him survive those challenging early days.

 A crucial MRI scan after 10 days in intensive care showed that Vaughn's brain was functioning normally - and he is now a happy and healthy little boy.

"The hospital provided a private room for me so I could visit him round the clock," said Ruby. "And when our fragile family felt overwhelmed with fear, the support and care of the nurses and consultants kept us strong."

Ruby took part in the Thames Bridge Bike Ride last month, cycling the 35-mile route and raising more than £2,000 for Imperial Health Charity.

We will make sure the money Ruby raised goes straight back to the neonatal unit at Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea, so that other mothers in her position continue to receive the best possible care.

 Ruby added: "The NHS caught us the moment things went wrong and continue to support us and countless other families."

 Inspired by Ruby's story? Find out more about our exciting fundraising opportunities at www.imperialcharity.org.uk/fundraising-events

01.11.17: Applications for 2018/2019 research fellowships now open

NHS UCLH DAY 2 LAB 0135 10083Applications for next year’s research fellowships open on Wednesday 1 November, awarding staff up to £50,000 to undertake pioneering research and prepare for further study.

 The programme, managed by Imperial Health Charity, allows medical and non-medical staff to take part in 12 months of out-of-programme research to develop their skills for the benefit of patients at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

 This year, £436,905 was awarded to nine fellows in a range of fields, including research into improving dialysis access for older patients and developing a urine test to diagnose oesophageal and gastric cancers.

 Eilbhe Whelan was one of the recipients, receiving £50,000 for research aiming to identify women at high risk of gynaecological cancer.

 “I’m thrilled and excited to have been awarded a research fellowship,” said Eilbhe. “I feel so lucky to be here because there’s a huge network of people working in one area that will be really helpful to me.”

 “The project is relatively labour intensive with regards to recruiting patients. Having the fellowship means I can do my research and analysis without having to worry about clinical commitments.”

 Imperial Health Charity and its funding partner, the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, have awarded 55 fellowships totalling £2.5 million since 2009.

The research fellowships are open to anyone employed by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust who plans to undertake their proposed research project for the benefit of Trust patients or the surrounding communities.

 Applications close on January 31 and those successful will be notified in Spring 2018. For more information about the programme and how to apply, visit our research fellowships page.

 You can get in touch with the charity grants team by emailing grants@imperialcharity.org.uk or phoning 020 3857 9847.



October news  


30.10.17: Imperial Health Charity first to trial contactless donation technology at St Mary's Hospital

22641918 10159428487865331 550491749 oImperial Health Charity has introduced a contactless donation unit at St Mary’s Hospital in London – the first time the TAPTOGIVE™ technology has been used in a UK hospital.The charity partnered with tech start-up GoodBox, which has developed the unit with its own payment processing technology.

 It enables patients and other hospital visitors to make an instant £5 donation to the charity, which raises money to support the five hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

 The portable GoodBox unit has been installed in the children’s outpatients department at St Mary’s as part of an initial trial. A smaller table-top contactless giving device has also been trialled at fundraising events.

 The charity is planning to introduce additional GoodBox units in targeted locations across the other four hospitals it supports – Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea and the Western Eye.

 Ian Lush, Chief Executive of Imperial Health Charity, said: “This is a very exciting time for NHS charities. We are seeing more and more people willing to support their local hospitals through cash donations and with the 70th anniversary of the NHS coming up next year we believe contactless giving will enable even more people to give back.

 “We are delighted to be partnering with GoodBox to introduce a box in the children’s outpatients department at St Mary’s Hospital this week and we look forward to rolling out the boxes across the other hospitals we support in the coming months.”

 The standalone box installed at St Mary’s features bespoke artwork tailored to the charity’s cause. It is designed to replace traditional glass coin boxes and counter-top collection jars.

25.10.17: Gallery visits helping neuro-rehab patients with their recovery

IMG 8677Group visits are helping neurological rehabilitation patients get out of the hospital and experience some of London’s best exhibitions.

 The quarterly trips, organised by Imperial Health Charity, give patients experiences they might otherwise miss, help them to socialise and keep their minds active.

A recent visit to the Royal Academy of Arts included a guided tour of the Jasper Johns retrospective and a group discussion about what they’d seen.

 Pippa Kirby, a Speech and Language Therapist in the neuro-rehab unit at Charing Cross, believes that the visits make a huge difference:

 “One patient who came has very severe cognitive problems. She generally finds it very hard to engage in any task or activity for longer than about 15 minutes and generally in conversation gets distracted and can’t stay on topic.”

 “However, at the RA she was absolutely captivated. She loved the paintings. She gave her opinion on them, compared them, asked to see some of them a second time. I’ve never seen her so engaged with something.”

 Patients in the unit can suffer from a wide range of neurological conditions, including stroke, brain tumours and multiple sclerosis and often have lengthy stays which can leave them feeling lonely and, in some cases, delirious. The accessible visits provide a change of scenery and can leave a lasting impression.

 “It’s this kind of activity which really enriches people’s experience of rehab, lifts their mood, and helps them feel more optimistic about the future. We very much hope to have many more similar trips in future.”

 Mariko, a patient in the unit, echoed Pippa’s praise, saying: “I love going to galleries but because of my health I have difficulty moving. I really enjoyed it and it’s very inspirational that the hospital patients now have the opportunity to visit. I really want to do it again!”

 Another patient said: “I thought the curators who took us around were very good. Jasper Johns is not an easy artist to understand so having someone who could reveal what was going on was tremendous. Everybody I’ve told that we had this opportunity said how very fortunate we were.”

 The initiative is one of many arts projects that the charity has supported to benefit patients including craft workshops for dementia patients, art therapy for stroke patients and art workshops for those undergoing dialysis.

For more information about our engagement programme, visit 

16.10.17: Spread a Smile named best charity at The Sun's health awards

Spread a Smile Who Cares Wins 2One of Imperial Health Charity’s partner organisations has been recognised for its work with seriously ill children, taking home an award at The Sun’s inaugural Who Cares Wins Awards last week.

Spread a Smile was presented with the Best Charity award by The Sun’s agony aunt Deidre Sanders at a ceremony on Wednesday for brightening the days of sick children with entertainers. 

The awards, hosted by Lorraine Kelly, celebrated the unsung heroes across the health profession who excel in improving the lives of patients.

Imperial Health Charity has funded Spread a Smile’s regular visits to St Mary's Hospital since 2016, where musicians, face painters, fairies and therapy dogs provide fun and games to keep kids calm and entertained in what can be a frightening situation.

Spread a Smile’s co-founders, Josephine Segal and Vanessa Crocker, said: "We are completely thrilled, delighted and humbled to win the best charity award from The Sun and it's wonderful to get this recognition for our work."

"We don't cure these young people but we do have one simple mission - that is to make them smile for just a moment, to distract them from their pain and illness and make them feel like any other child.”

To find out more about Spread a Smile, watch The Sun’s video about their fantastic work or visit spreadasmile.org 

 04.10.17: Artwork by Brian Eno comes to Hammersmith Hospital

IMG 7206Works by the acclaimed artist and musician, Brian Eno, have gone on display at Hammersmith Hospital.

 Imperial Health Charity, which manages the art collection at all five Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust hospitals, has organised the installation of four vivid prints in the Nuclear Imaging Department.

 The works focus on the possibility of light, with lenticular images giving an illusion of depth and animation. As you walk past, the forms within the work begin to move and the colours begin to intensify and fade, bringing the 2D work to life.

 Lucy Zacaria, Head of Arts at the charity, said: “We’re really excited to be able to display Brian Eno’s work at Hammersmith Hospital. These striking prints are a fantastic addition to the charity’s art collection and have a tremendous impact on patients and staff alike, as well as transforming the hospital environment.”

 “We’re grateful to Paul Stolper for helping to realise this installation and for generously donating one of the prints”.

 The charity is a keen advocate of art in hospitals and manages a collection of over 2000 art works at the five Trust hospitals. A 2014 survey carried out by the charity revealed that 69% of patients credited the art collection with making them feel more relaxed in the hospital environment.

 In addition to his prolific music career, Eno has exhibited internationally, including at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. In 2009 he was invited to exhibit on the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

 To find out more about the charity’s art collection, visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk/art-collections

03.10.17: Schwartz Rounds giving staff a safe space to share and reflect

IMG 6597Working in a hospital environment comes with its own challenges, sometimes causing a huge emotional impact on staff.

That’s why Imperial Health Charity has been a keen supporter of the Schwartz Rounds, helping to fund regular sessions for staff to reflect on their experiences and help them process stressful situations in a calm, supportive environment.

The sessions, held at the three main Trust sites and part-funded by the charity, give staff an opportunity to share concerns and experiences and reflect on challenges they’ve faced. 

A recent Schwartz Round focused on the Grenfell Tower fire and featured staff who helped care for the victims.

Dr Anu Mitra, a Consultant emergency physician who was on duty in A&E as people from the fire were brought to St Mary’s, said: “I found it very helpful to hear stories of how others found it tough. It was reassuring to me to see that I wasn’t alone.”

“Although there were many people at the Schwartz Round it still felt very intimate and private, and so I felt comfortable sharing.”

The Rounds started at the Trust in June 2015 and have had more than 1,800 attendances. Staff feedback showed that 97% would recommend the Schwartz Rounds to a colleague and 83% felt they gained knowledge that would help them care for their patients.

Dr Neill Duncan, Consultant in Renal Medicine and Clinical Lead for the Schwartz Rounds, believes that the sessions can be particularly valuable in the wake of major incidents.

“The thing about the Grenfell Tower fire was that we feel very strongly that we’re part of the community of West London”, he said.

“You saw the families on the TV and the terrible pictures of the tower and you thought ‘that’s West London, those are our people!’ and those were the kinds of things that came out from this particularly impactful Round.”

“People feel engaged and have a sense of kinship that they’re part of a bigger whole; they feel valued and have a better level of understanding of each other. It’s very candid, people tell their story in a very open way and they open themselves very personally.”

Schwartz Rounds continue regularly on all main sites and welcome all staff, clinical and nonclinical, students and trainees, and healthcare colleagues working in neighbouring community settings.

For more information about the Schwartz Rounds, contact imperial.schwartz.rounds@nhs.net

02.10.17: Apply now to volunteer with Imperial Health Charity as a Hospital Host

Joan DonaldImperial Health Charity is on the lookout for friendly and compassionate volunteers to take up an important new role welcoming patients to our hospitals.

 We are recruiting a team of volunteers to become Hospital Hosts at Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St Mary’s and the Western Eye hospitals.

 As part of the role, volunteers will be the friendly first point of contact for patients and their families as they arrive in outpatient waiting areas.

 The role involves providing information, assisting with directions and offering an ear to listen, helping visitors feel relaxed and reassured.

 We are looking for individuals who can volunteer for between two and four hours on a week day, either weekly or fortnightly.

The Hospital Hosts will provide an essential extra level of support for NHS staff working in our busy outpatient waiting areas, which are used by patients who are attending hospital appointments without the need to stay overnight.

 Matt Hatt, a Volunteer Manager at Imperial Health Charity, said: “Currently the Trust receives over 1 million outpatients per year, making these areas some of the busiest in the hospitals.

 “We believe that volunteers can offer a huge amount of support to our patients, visitors and staff, providing up-to-date information as well as companionship and reassurance during a challenging time.”

 Imperial Health Charity manages the volunteering programme at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, as well as supporting its five hospitals through grants, arts and fundraising.

 Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to apply for the role. The deadline for applications is Monday 13 November.

 To download the role description and application form, visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk/volunteer





August news 

31.08.17: New creative course will help patients become more confident in creating art 

IMG 2258 croppedPatients are invited to take part in a free six-month course to develop their artistic skills and learn more about the art on display at the Trust.

 The Art and Wellbeing Course, organised by Imperial Health Charity, features a variety of workshops, designed to help patients feel more confident in creating art and enhance their wellbeing and recovery.

 The charity’s extensive art collection, including works by Fay Ballard and Clare Woods, will be used as a springboard to inspire creativity as participants try their hand at watercolour painting, still life drawing, and more.

 The course is open to patients of all abilities and the charity is asking Trust staff to recommend it to anyone they feel might be interested.

 Lucy Zacaria, Head of Arts at the charity, said: “We’re delighted to offer this opportunity to patients. The charity is a firm believer in the way that art can transform hospital spaces and how creativity can greatly enhance patients’ recovery.”

 “We often hear first-hand from staff and patients just how much of an impact art can have and this course is something that we’re extremely passionate about.”

 Last month, a cross-party report concluded that arts-based approaches can help people stay well, recover faster, manage long-term conditions, and experience a better quality of life.

 The charity is proud to support the arts in healthcare and works hard to improve patients’ hospital experience through an extensive programme including creative workshops for patients undergoing dialysis and multisensory experiences for those living with dementia.

 The course takes place from 2-5pm on the first Saturday of each month from September onwards. Workshops will be held at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s Hospitals. Anyone interested in joining should contact the charity’s Arts team by emailing arts@imperialcharity.org.uk or phoning 020 3857 9843.

30.08.17: Fran Giffard's art brightens up new children's unit

IMG 8564Artwork by Fran Giffard has been installed in a new children’s unit in the St Mary’s A&E department, which opened this week.

 Giffard’s colourful prints and light boxes, now adorn the children’s Clinical Decision Unit at the hospital. The four-bed unit provides dedicated facilities for children who need further assessment and was created as part of a charity-funded £3.5m upgrade for the A&E department.

 The artwork, featuring vivid drawings of birds from around the world drawn over her personal diary pages, helps transform the feel of the department and offers children something to focus on in what can be a very distressing time.

 “I’ve tried to cater for the patients in the room”, said Giffard. “There are colourful, friendly birds, birds that they’ll recognise like parrots and penguins and the diary pages reference London landmarks.”

 “The nurses said it was useful to have these as a visual distraction so if they’re giving injections or taking blood they can ask ‘how many penguins can you see?’ and that way the patient is entertained in the middle of a stressful situation.”

 The charity is a keen advocate of art in hospitals and manages a collection of over 2,000 art works at the five Trust hospitals. A 2014 survey carried out by the charity revealed that 69% of patients credited the art collection with making them feel more relaxed in the hospital environment, something that the arts programme is constantly building on.IMG 8572

 Giffard said: “We’re getting very good at fixing the physical parts of the body but we’re still only tapping the briefest part of the mind and how things can have an impact later on. Having artwork in places like this makes it more relaxing, less clinical, and less intimidating.”

 Giffard studied Fine Art Drawing at Camberwell College of Art and has had her work exhibited internationally and throughout the UK. She was shortlisted for the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year and has displayed her work at several solo exhibitions, including the Northcote Gallery in Chelsea and the Someth1ng Gallery in Honor Oak.

 You can find out more about her work on her website.

29.08.17: Imperial Health Charity named official charity partner for Affordable Art Fair

AAF3Imperial Health Charity has been selected as the official charity partner for one of London’s biggest art fairs.

 The Affordable Art Fair, which takes place at Battersea Evolution in October, will provide a unique platform for the charity to demonstrate how the arts can make a difference in the healthcare environment.

 With a diverse collection of original and contemporary paintings, prints, photography and sculpture, the fair is expected to attract thousands of visitors over four days.

 But art fans who buy a ticket for the Charity Private View on Wednesday October 18 will have the first chance to see and buy artworks featured at the fair.

 All the money raised from tickets sold for the Private View will go straight back to the charity, supporting our arts engagement programme for patients and staff across the Trust.

 Lucy Zacaria, Head of Arts at Imperial Health Charity, said: “We aim to change the way patients and NHS staff experience the hospital environment, by transforming clinical settings into bright and uplifting areas and engaging with patients at the bedside and in communal groups to enhance their recovery.

 “This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase our work on the big stage and help others understand the value of the arts in improving the hospital experience for patients.

 “You can support the arts in healthcare and boost our engagement programme by buying a ticket for the Charity Private View and enjoying the live entertainment on offer.”

 More than 100 artists – from household names to emerging talents - are due to exhibit their work at the fair.

 Bringing thousands of artworks together with talks, tours and workshops all under one roof, the fair will be the place to be for art enthusiasts this autumn.

 Imperial Health Charity will be at the heart of the fair throughout the week, hosting live demonstrations of our hospital workshops and an ‘in conversation’ talk with Professor Roger Kneebone, from Imperial College London,  and artist Rebecca Salter, on the link between art and medicine.

We will also be selling unique tote bags featuring original artworks by David Shrigley, with proceeds going straight back to the charity.

 You can support the charity’s work by buying a ticket for the Charity Private View on Wednesday October 18 from 5.30pm. The £25 ticket price includes a first look at all the artworks, live entertainment, complimentary drinks and readmission to the fair for the rest of the week (October 19-22).

 For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk/fundraising-events. To find out more about the event, visit www.affordableartfair.com/fairs/battersea-autumn

07.08.17: Charity celebrates 30th annivesary of Bridget Riley murals at St Mary's

BR SM 9 0015Imperial Health Charity is celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of its most iconic hospital artworks.

 This year marks three decades since Bridget Riley’s colourful murals were installed on the eighth and ninth floors of the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother building (QEQM) at St Mary’s Hospital.

Unveiled back in 1987, the striking patterns are among the most memorable in the charity’s collection and continue to delight visitors today.

 Riley, now in her 80s, was commissioned by the architect John Weeks to create the two murals on the eighth and ninth floors. A third mural was created on the 10th floor in 2014.

 The unique patterns take inspiration from a visit Riley made to Egypt in the early 1980s, echoing the fixed colour palettes and decorative style of architectural painting used by the Ancient Egyptians.

 Reflecting on the designs, Riley described how painting for decoration requires a more passive rhythm and arrangement of colour lines as the viewer absorbs the image while walking past, rather than looking directly at a canvas.

 Speaking at the unveiling of the third mural in 2014, she said: “The hospital corridor paintings embrace the whole space. They aim to lift the spirits and remind one of the life outside the hospital, while in no way interfering with the essential activities which must go on. Wonderful murals transform environments into uplifting places for patients and staff.”

 In the 30 years since the murals were unveiled, feedback from patients and staff has been overwhelmingly positive. The bright colours have brought to life what were once pale and clinical hospital corridors.

 Lucy Zacaria, Head of Arts at Imperial Health Charity, said: “The murals are without doubt one of the highlights of the collection. The staff at QEQM love them and we’re often asked by other teams if they can have something similar on their ward.

 “The striking patterns have totally transformed the space and made it feel a lot less clinical – and this has had a genuine impact on patients’ wellbeing during their time in hospital.

 “We will always be grateful to Bridget for her generosity in creating these artworks for us. They continue to delight and inspire visitors to the hospital every day.”

 To mark the anniversary, the charity is working with the Chelsea Community Hospital School to run a special creative workshop for children at St Mary’s on Thursday (10 August).

 Young patients will be given the chance to create their own artworks, inspired by Riley’s murals, using strips of coloured paper.

 The school provides education for children and young people aged between four and 18 while they are in hospital. St Mary’s is one of four London hospitals the school works with to offer classes on a weekly basis.

03.08.17: 'Superhero' six-year-old to run with Paralympic heroes for hospital that saved his life

IMG 8181A six-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who survived after suffering several neonatal strokes is to line up for a unique sporting challenge alongside one of Britain’s top Paralympians.

 “Superhero” Arlo Elwin will team up with athlete and cyclist Kadeena Cox to complete the final leg of a special triathlon event celebrating disability sports.

 Little Arlo was born by emergency caesarean at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital in west London after suffering several strokes inside his mother’s womb.

 He was resuscitated by doctors and spent 11 days in intensive care before his condition stabilised and he could be reunited with his family.

 Arlo now lives with cerebral palsy, limited vision and learning difficulties but is able to lead an otherwise normal life.

 Next month he will sprint to the finish line for Team Kadeena at the Superhero Tri event at Dorney Lake, near Windsor.

 The Elwins, who live in Hoxton, are raising money for Imperial Health Charity, which supports the work of the neonatal unit at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, as well as the four other hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. All the money they raise will go straight back to the neonatal unit that cared for Arlo.

 Alice Elwin, Arlo’s mother, said: “Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea is the reason Arlo is still here today and doing so well.

 “He spent 11 days on drugs and it was touch and go whether or not he would survive. He looked pretty lifeless and I wasn’t able to hold him for four days while he was being cooled.

 “We were like zombies at the time and it was truly heartbreaking and awful to go through, but the care was amazing. The NHS is simply incredible and we can never put into words our appreciation for the care we received.”

 During a routine appointment, Alice told doctors she had felt Arlo moving less than normal. Specialists found that Arlo’s heart rate was “distressed” and decided to perform an emergency caesarean.

 Arlo suffered seizures three hours after birth and it was later discovered that he had also had strokes days before he was born.

 He spent his first 11 days at the Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea neonatal unit before being moved to Homerton Hospital at the end of the month.

 Despite his difficult start in life, the “cheeky” six-year-old has benefited from physiotherapy and other NHS treatments to help him stay active.

 He was invited by his physio to take part in the Superhero Tri, organised by Paralympian Sophia Warner who also has cerebral palsy, to encourage disabled children to take part in sports.

 Other celebrities joining the event include The Last Leg presenter Adam Hills and Paralympic gold medallist Jonnie Peacock.

 Arlo will run and walk the final 1,000 metres of the course with the help of his family – Alice, Marcus and little brother Ezra (two) - after Kadeena and another team member have completed the swimming and cycling sections.

 Marcus added: “We want to show Arlo that he can do anything he wants to with his determination and our support.”

 Superhero Series founder and Paralympian Sophia Warner said: “I am thrilled that Arlo is joining forces with Team Kadeena to make a super team. The Celebrity Superhero Tri is going to be a fun-fuelled start to the Superhero Series, I cannot wait for August.”

 To sponsor Arlo and support Imperial Health Charity, you can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Alice-Elwin



September news  

 26.09.17: IT Consultant trekking Mount Everest for St Mary's Intensive Care Unit

AndyReynoldsAn IT Consultant whose brother was involved in a serious road accident will take part in an intense trek through the Everest region to raise money for the Intensive Care Unit at St Mary’s.

Andy Reynolds' brother, Martin, was treated at the hospital after a motor scooter accident left him with serious injuries, including damage to his spinal cord and a fractured neck. After a gruelling 8-hour operation and several weeks on a ventilator, Martin is on the long road to recovery and his family is positive about the outcome.

 Andy wants to repay the team that made such a huge difference and next month he’ll join the 18-day Everest Base Camp trek, reaching an altitude of 5546 metres and climbing five summits.

 “It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this. It’s quite intense. I spent 3 hours in the gym this morning. I’m stepping up the training because there isn’t long to go.”

 Every penny of the money raised will go to improving care in the ICU and some of it is earmarked for a piece of equipment that made a big difference to Martin.

“When Martin came off the ventilator from the tracheostomy his cough wasn’t strong enough to clear his lungs and that was causing problems,” said Andy.

 His recovery was helped by a ‘coughing machine’ and some of the money raised will buy an additional one for the unit.

 “It made a hell of a difference because it enabled me to cough without being assisted,” said Martin. “The only other way is to push your stomach but that can hurt after a while if you do it so many times. It helps, but they’re not cheap.”

 “The level of care that Martin had from all of the staff was brilliant,” said Andy. “There have been good days and bad days but throughout that period the care and attention has been fantastic.”

 Martin echoed his brother’s praise, saying: “The level of care has been absolutely unbelievable. I’m on first name terms with virtually all of the nurses and some of the doctors as well!”

 If you’d like to sponsor Andy, you can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andy-reynolds6

11.09.17: Find out more about Imperial Health Charity during Great Place to Work Week

IMG 2975NHS staff can find out how to get involved with Imperial Health Charity during Great Place to Work Week – a special event celebrating the many benefits of working for the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

 We will be hosting several events throughout the week (September 25 - October 1) to give members of Trust staff the chance to learn more about our work across grants, arts, volunteering and fundraising.

 A talk on Matisse by Graham Greenfield from the Royal Academy of Arts, a pub quiz at the Old Suffolk Punch in Hammersmith and drop-in sessions to help you apply for a grant are just a few of the events taking place during the week.

 Imperial Health Charity is working with the Trust to deliver Great Place to Work Week, which will also include a daily roadshow featuring a range of stalls and activities.

Where can I find the charity?

Come and visit our stall to pick up our latest newsletter and a free charity goody bag. You can find us at the following locations between 11am and 3pm:

Monday 25 September – W12 Conference Centre, Hammersmith Hospital

 Tuesday 26 September – outside the Paterson Centre, St Mary’s Hospital

 Wednesday 27 September – 3rd Floor seminar room, Western Eye Hospital

 Thursday 28 September – Charing Cross Sports Club, Charing Cross Hospital

 What else can I do?

  • Interested in the arts? Attend our Matisse in the Studio talk by Graham Greenfield from the Royal Academy of Arts. The talk takes place on Tuesday 26 September at the Cockburn Lecture Theatre at St Mary’s Hospital, starting at 5pm. Turn up on the day or to guarantee your place, RSVP to arts@imperialcharity.org.uk or call 020 3857 9843.
  •  Find out how to apply for a grant from the charity to support your ward or department. We fund a range of healthcare projects across the Trust, from major redevelopments to small improvements on the wards. Our grants team will be holding a drop-in session at the charity’s stall between 12.30pm and 1.30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at the locations listed above.
  •  Take part in our Pride In Your Trust photo competition for a chance to win box tickets to see Symphonic Queen at the Royal Albert Hall on Friday 6 October. Download and print our poster from The Source or pick one up from our charity stall and write on it what makes you proud to work for the Trust. Take a picture of yourself holding the poster and post it in a tweet, including the hashtag #ImperialGreatPlacetoWork. We’ll choose the winner at the end of the week. Make sure you follow @ImperialCharity so we can contact you if you’ve won.

07.09.17: Blood Cancer Awareness Month: Meet David Memory

David Memory CroppedSeptember is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, highlighting the challenges facing those affected by the condition and what can be done to help them.

 We’re proud to support the haematology department at Hammersmith Hospital through the Blood Fund which aims to raise £250,000 for research and care for patients with a wide variety of blood disorders.

A key goal for the fund is to increase the number of Clinical Nurse Specialists who provide emotional and psychosocial support, as well as expert advice in specific diseases. David Memory, who has multiple myeloma, joined the Blood Fund committee after experiencing first-hand how much of a difference they make.

“I was in hospital for a stem cell transplant,” said David. “It’s a very scary sounding operation but I was lucky enough to have a Clinical Nurse Specialist.”

“For somebody who hasn’t been very involved in hospitals and operations it was quite a nerve-wracking thought. Having somebody spending as much time as I needed to explain what was going to happen was a massive comfort and help. They made it sound like there was really nothing to worry about.”

David’s experiences have been echoed nationwide. A 2014 survey of cancer patients identified access to a named Clinical Nurse Specialist as the number one indicator of a positive patient experience.

Since then, David has made the most of his experience and is an active part of the committee. He’s taken part in collections and helped organise an upcoming golf day auction to raise money for the fund.

“I think the aims of the Blood Fund are excellent. It’s nice to not only be able to help raise funds but also to have an influence on what they’re spent on.”

To find out more about the Blood Fund and how you can help, visit www.imperialcharity.org.uk/the-blood-fund

06.09.17: Former model 'brought back to life' by medics at St Mary's Hospital

Tyrell pic1A former model who was left unable to walk, talk, eat or drink following a horrific car crash is to take part in a gruelling endurance challenge for Imperial Health Charity after being saved by medics at St Mary’s Hospital.

 Tyrell Todd modelled for GQ and Italian Vogue before suffering catastrophic injuries in the near-fatal crash in January 2015.

 He suffered a major bleed inside his brain and had part of his skull removed in a life-saving operation at the hospital.

 Tyrell then spent four weeks in a coma and another three months recovering in a hospital bed before he could begin his rehabilitation.

 Less than three years later, however, Tyrell is taking on the Tough Mudder – a 12-mile obstacle course through overgrown woodlands and thick, muddy bogs.

The 23-year-old, who previously modelled at the London, Paris and New York Fashion Weeks, has entered the event to raise money for Imperial Health Charity, which supports St Mary’s and the four other hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

 “My speech is still slurred and my concentration levels are not good, but I am trying to move past those difficulties and do something for my kids and the hospital staff who saved my life,” said Tyrell.

 “I feel like I am ready to go ahead and do it. It will be nothing compared to what I went through before.”

 Tyrell was in the passenger seat of a friend’s car in Potter’s Bar when it spun off the road and struck a tree.

 He was rushed to St Mary’s and taken into theatre, where surgeons cut out a section of his skull to treat a large bleed inside his brain. When he eventually woke from an induced coma, he could no longer walk or talk and was being fed through a tube.

 “I was moved to the intensive care unit where I was placed on a ventilator and fighting for my life,” he added. “The odds of me surviving the crash were slim to none and my family was losing hope.

 “However, the surgery was a success and after spending four weeks in a coma I came through. Ever since then I have wanted to find a way to say how much I appreciate the amazing team of doctors and nurses and all the staff at the Major Trauma Centre who were so dedicated to looking after me.”

 Tyrell, who lives in Sudbury, Suffolk, has not been able to work since the crash and now receives care at home five days a week. His rehabilitation is ongoing.

 “At first I could not remember anything,” he added. “It took me a month to remember that I had two kids. It was a scary process. I had to put my life back together from people telling me bits and pieces. I’m still not used to it but I’m just grateful to have been given a second chance at life.”

 Tyrell had regular physio and speech therapy sessions at St Mary’s following the operation – crucial first steps that eventually enabled him to walk and talk again.

 He aims to raise £1,500 for the charity by taking on the Tough Mudder in Faygate, West Sussex, on 23 September. The charity will make sure all the money he raises goes straight back to the Major Trauma Centre at St Mary’s.

 He added: “I want to show the staff at St Mary’s how far I have come over the last two and a half years and to prove to them that their efforts have not gone unnoticed. They basically brought me back to life and I want them to see what their work has achieved.

 “Hopefully, this money can also enable them to provide the same level of care to other people who end up in the same terrible situation as me."

 If you would like to sponsor Tyrell, you can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tyrell-todd

04.09.17: Ironman challenge in sight for fundraising journalist whose daughter was born premature

Mark Nicol picA top journalist whose daughter was born prematurely at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital is to run, cycle and swim more than 140 miles to raise money for Imperial Health Charity.

Mark Nicol, Defence Correspondent at the Mail on Sunday, will swap the newsroom for the tough terrain of the Ironman challenge to repay the neonatal team who brought little Isabella safely into the world.

Mark’s wife Zoe spent more than a fortnight in hospital before doctors eventually removed baby Isabella by caesarean at 32 weeks and five days.

She weighed only five lbs at birth and lost more weight during her first few days, requiring breathing assistance through a gas mask.

Mark was so impressed by the care and compassion shown by the staff that he decided to give back to the hospital by raising money for Imperial Health Charity at the Ironman Wales event on 10 September.

The gruelling challenge begins with a 2.4-mile sea swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride and rounded off with a full marathon on foot. Avoiding injuries, Mark expects to complete the challenge in around 13 hours.

Imperial Health Charity will ensure that all the money Mark raises will be put straight back into improving the hospital experience for other patients visiting the neonatal unit at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea.

“The events I’ve done in the past have been about half this distance, so it has certainly been demanding on the training front,” he said.

“I was always planning to do the Ironman, but I didn’t have a strong feeling about sponsorship until our experience with Isabella. Now I’m full of motivation to give something back to the hospital.”

Isabella was born pre-term by around seven weeks, so her condition had to be carefully managed.

Doctors had managed to extend the pregnancy by about 10 days after Zoe arrived in hospital, giving Isabella the best possible chance of survival.

Both Mark and Zoe were grateful for the professionalism and kindness of the staff who helped them through the birth.

“It was the combination of compassion and professional capability that was so impressive,” Mark added.

“The staff were intelligent, thoughtful and highly communicative, which is incredibly important at a difficult time like that.”

Zoe gave birth to the couple’s first child, Rory, at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea in April 2016, so they knew they were in safe hands despite the complications with Isabella.

Now at one month old Isabella is recovering well, putting on weight and feeding normally.

“It was a hard week for myself and Zoe but it was made so much easier because of the quality of the people who were around us,” Mark added.

“This will be my first full Ironman and obviously my training has been compromised slightly by what has happened, but my motivation is higher than ever.”

If you would like to sponsor Mark, you can visit  http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=MarkNicolIronMan

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