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19/07/16: Patients and staff raise thousands with charity walk

IMG 2001Dozens of patients, staff and their families put their best foot forward at the weekend to raise £16,000 for the Trust’s five hospitals.

Imperial College Healthcare Charity held its first ever Walk for Wards on Sunday (17 July), which saw 120 people walk a five or two mile circular route from Merchant Square in Paddington.

The charity raises money for research, equipment and projects at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and money raised at the event will go to the walkers’ chosen wards and departments.

Laura Watts, head of community and events fundraising at the charity, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part. We are delighted with how much IMG 6194they raised. This money will help to make a real difference for patients and staff across Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

“We also want to thank the volunteers who helped to make this event a success – we couldn’t have done it without them.”

The five mile walk included Regent’s Canal, Primrose Hill, Regent’s Park, Baker Street, Marylebone and Merchant Square.

Among the patients taking part in the five mile walk was 54-year-old Selina Norfolk who signed up to thank St Mary’s Hospital for saving her life.

Selina, who has raised more than £485, was treated at the hospital in Paddington in June 2015 after developing life-threatening problems with her pancreas caused by years of excessive drinking.

The interior designer, who has been sober ever since, has made a full recovery.

“I took part in this five mile walk because I wanted to show my gratitude to the team at St Mary’s. Walk for Wards struck me as a really positive way to do something for myself as a recovering alcoholic,” she said.

Selina Norfolk nowSelina, who lives in Paddington, was diagnosed with severe acute pancreatitis,where the pancreas becomes inflamed over a short period of time, which can result in life-threatening complications, such as multiple organ failure.

In severe cases where complications develop, there's a high risk of the condition being fatal. In England, just over 1,000 people die from acute pancreatitis every year.

“At the time I didn’t realise how poorly I was, but I was at death’s door,” she said.

“My lungs, kidneys and heart were failing. I remember being taken to the high dependency unit and I asked the nurse if I was going to die. She replied ‘we’re doing everything we can for you’.”

“I was in hospital for three weeks and when I came out I just thought I’m not going to drink again. If I have one drink it will kill me,” said Selina.

Since 2009, Imperial College Healthcare Charity has awarded more than £20 million in grants to more than 400 pieces of clinical research and healthcare projects across the hospitals, all of which aim to improve patient healthcare.

19/07/16: Raise money for the charity's newest fund: The Blood Fund

ryszard szydlo-0027 smallImperial College Healthcare Charity and the department of haematology at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are excited to announce a new charitable fund called The Blood Fund.

The Blood Fund offers patients and staff affected by all types of blood disorders an opportunity to fundraise or donate to the department of haematology at the Trust. 

Earlier this month in The Catherine Lewis Centre, staff from the department of haematology sold cakes, and handed out sweet treats and information about the fund to patients, staff and visitors.  

Money raised for The Blood Fund will go to three key areas: improving patient care, investing in research and supporting the doctors and scientists of the  future. 

The department of haematology will be holding events and fundraising activities throughout the year to raise awareness for the fund.

If you’d like to know more about The Blood Fund, contact laura.watts@imperial.nhs.uk or Karen.linfield@imperial.nhs.uk

14/07/16: Mayor of London visits St Mary's Hospital programme to tackle youth gang violence

Sadiq Khan at St MarysThe Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has visited the major trauma centre at St Mary’s Hospital to learn more about the Youth Violence Intervention Programme, which aims to tackle youth gang violence. 

The project brings specialist youth workers from Redthread, an organisation that has experience helping children and young people change their risky lifestyles, into the major trauma centre to connect with the victims and perpetrators of violence. 

The Youth Violence Intervention Programme is the result of a partnership between Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Redthread and Imperial College Healthcare Charity which has helped partners and funders work together to make the initiative possible. It is joint-funded by Imperial College Healthcare Charity; the Home Office; the boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster; Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC); The North West London Major Trauma Network; and other third sector partners.

During the tour the mayor found out more about the work being done to help young victims of violence. He was shown round the St Mary’s A&E resuscitation area and the major trauma centre. 

The Youth Violence Intervention programme engages with young people involved in dangerous behaviour when they are most vulnerable, for example, while being treated after being assaulted, providing a critical opportunity. This ‘teachable moment’, when the young person needs help and may be willing to engage, is an invaluable chance to enable these individuals to make positive steps away from their current lifestyles. Once a relationship has been built, the youth worker team offers a variety of on-going support based on the varied needs of young people.

Imperial College Healthcare Charity chief executive, Ian Lush, said: “We are proud to support our partner charity, Redthread, through our St Mary’s Hospital Major Trauma Centre Appeal. The Youth Violence Intervention Project is making a huge impact on young people’s lives in London and most importantly, the team are transforming young people’s futures.

“We have also recently given a grant of £3.2 million to improve the facilities at St Mary’s A&E. This work will bring the environment up to a standard which better reflects the very high quality of the clinical care provided. We are pleased the charity has been able to make this significant investment in the Trust’s facilities.”

Also visiting the hospital was Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime. She led a roundtable discussion bringing together police, health and community safety professionals to discuss the barriers and opportunities for tackling knife crime in London.

Dr Asif Rahman, consultant in adult and paediatric emergency medicine at the Trust, said: “I welcomed the opportunity to show the Mayor of London the work that we are doing in partnership with Redthread to help young people who have been victims of violent crime and gang-related sexual violence and exploitation.

“We in the hospital are in the ideal position to utilise that teachable moment when these young people come in as emergencies and are willing to listen and engage. We want to help them break that cycle of violence and stop them being involved in potentially damaging behaviour to themselves and others. We want to form a bridge from the hospital into the community, supporting these young, often vulnerable people when they leave the hospital and hopefully make them stick with community programmes to ensure they leave a life of violence and hopefully don’t come back in a worse off state.”

07/07/16: "I was at death's door"...woman to take part in five mile walk to thank hospital for treatment

IMG 5506A recovering alcoholic is taking part in a five mile charity walk to thank the hospital that saved her life.

Selina Norfolk was treated at St Mary’s Hospital in June 2015 after developing life-threatening problems with her pancreas caused by years of excessive drinking.

The 54-year-old interior designer, who has been sober ever since, has made a full recovery and is set to take part in Imperial College Healthcare Charity’s Walk for Wards to raise money for St Mary’s Hospital on 17 July.

“At the time I didn’t realise how poorly I was, but I was at death’s door,” she said.

“My lungs, kidneys and heart were failing. I remember being taken to the high dependency unit and I asked the nurse if I was going to die. She replied ‘we’re doing everything we can for you’.”

Selina, who lives in Paddington, was diagnosed with severe acute pancreatitis, where the pancreas becomes inflamed over a short period of time, which can result in life-threatening complications, such as multiple organ failure. 

In severe cases where complications develop, there's a high risk of the condition being fatal. In England, just over 1,000 people die from acute pancreatitis every year.

Selina Norfolk“When my symptoms started, I thought I was having a heart attack,” she said. 

“I was due to see a counsellor about my drinking for the first time that afternoon and when I got to hospital I told them I thought I was alcohol dependent. I was drinking at least a bottle of wine a day.

“I was in hospital for three weeks and when I came out I just thought I’m not going to drink again. If I have one drink it will kill me,” said Selina.

“I’m taking part in this five mile walk for Imperial College Healthcare Charity because I wanted to show my gratitude to the team at St Mary’s. Walk for Wards struck me as a really positive way to do something for myself as a recovering alcoholic.”

Imperial College Healthcare Charity raises funds for the five hospitals of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, including St Mary’s, Charing Cross, Western Eye, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea and Hammersmith hospitals.

Patients, their families, hospital staff and the public are invited to join the charity’s Walk for Wards event starting at 1.30pm on 17 July. The event will see dozens of people walking either a two or five mile circular route starting and finishing in Merchant Square next to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.

People who take part can choose exactly which ward or hospital the money their money will help.

The charity will match up to £100 raised per person for the first 250 people to sign up.

Registration is £10 for adults, £5 for concessions, NHS staff and children aged 5 -16, under 5s are free.

To sponsor Selina, click here.

For more information or to take part in the event, click here.

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