Peninsula Group’s Surprise £1million Fundraising Announcement will be “Making A Difference” at Children’s Hospital
Prof Stavros Stivaros with Peter Done and Alan Price
GENEROUS supporters of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity made a surprise announcement today – pledging to donate £1million!
The substantial amount pledged by Peninsula Group is even more staggering, given that it was announced at a special party to celebrate the Salford-based company raising £2million for the Charity.
Peninsula and Charity staff were gathered at the company’s headquarters today (Fri) to celebrate the £2million milestone with a Christmas party when the surprise announcement was made.
While the first £2million was specifically for the Charity’s iMRI Appeal, the next £1million Peninsula Group want to raise will be for general funds at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. This means it has the potential to touch the lives of all the 280,000-plus children that visit the hospital each and every year, regardless of where in the hospital they’re treated.
But while the new Making A Difference fundraising drive for £1million will benefit hundreds of thousands of patients who come from across the North West and beyond, it was one little girl in particular who inspired the new pledge.
Caption: Ava and her family
On a recent visit to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Peter Done, Founder & CEO of Peninsula Group, met 11-year-old Ava. Ava has been a patient at the hospital for most of her life. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of two which gave her a 20-30% chance of surviving 5 years or more.
In fact, Peter was so dazzled by little Ava, who shares the same name, age, and personality traits as his own granddaughter, that he decided then and there to launch a new campaign to support the thousands of children just like Ava who are cared for at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Caption: Peter Done with Ava and her family
Peter Done says: “I’ve got a very personal connection with Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, as do many of the team here at Peninsula Group. It’s a cause that’s so close to our hearts.
"I’ve been honoured to meet some of the young patients cared for by the hospital and I’ve seen first-hand the incredible things the hospital achieves each and every day. The invaluable support given to 280,000 families every year - not just in medical terms, but emotional and practical support too - shines a light of hope on what will be some of the most challenging days of their lives.
“We know what a difference our support has made to the iMRI Scanner Appeal, and now we want to push forward and make an active difference to the lives and futures of other children just like Ava. We hope the business community will join forces with Peninsula Group in our quest to do everything we can to help this amazing Charity do what it does best: make life better for the hospital’s patients and their families.
“Hitting the £2million target was such a fantastic achievement and I’m so proud of each and every Peninsula Group staff member who helped us reach our goal and is here today to celebrate with us. But now we want to get started on that next £1million and take our total to £3million. This will be a great way to kick off 2023!
Caption: Representatives from Peninsula Group, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and Ava's family
To help raise the next £1million, Peninsula Group will encourage other businesses they work with to “Make A Difference….Together”. Peninsula Group will lead by example and encourage other corporate supporters to do their own fundraising for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, which Peninsula will match-fund pound for pound.
Tanya Hamid, Interim Director of Charities at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Peninsula Group’s generosity seems never ending! The announcement they wanted to pledge an additional £1million, just after finishing raising £2million for the iMRI Appeal, is just incredible. We couldn’t believe it.
“We’re very proud to have them on board as corporate partners and look forward to seeing them at many of our 2023 events so they can continue Making A Difference to our patients.”
The Charity’s £5m iMRI Appeal will help the hospital to purchase state-of-the-art intra-operative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (iMRI) equipment which will revolutionise surgical care at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Every year, thousands of children and young people from across the region attend Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital – part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s family of 10 hospitals – for specialist neurological treatment.
Sadly, many will require complex brain surgery for a range of debilitating and even life-threatening conditions including brain tumours, traumatic brain injuries, problems with the central nervous system and epilepsy.
The specialist team of children’s neurosurgeons at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital rely on MRI scans taken before surgery to guide them to the area of the brain requiring treatment. Sometimes a child needs to be scanned during surgery, which means the risky process of moving a child (still anaesthetised on the operating table) out of theatre and through the hospital corridors to be scanned in another part of the building. Yet it isn’t until another MRI scan is taken after surgery – perhaps days later – that surgeons can see if the surgery was successful, or if any damaged tissue or tumour was left behind and further invasive surgery is needed.
The iMRI machine cuts out this process by offering scans during the surgery, giving surgeons up-to-date images as the operation is being carried out.
Caption: Prof Stavros Stivaros with Humphrey
Prof Stavros Stivaros, Director of Neuroimaging at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, said: “The iMRI will revolutionise brain surgery here at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and help us to positively improve care for even more children and their families.
“When I do that very first scan with the new equipment I will think of every single fundraiser who made it possible, and in particular Peninsula Group for their generosity and kindness.”
Peninsula Group managed to raise a phenomenal £2million by encouraging staff to take part in several challenges – including Great Manchester Run 10K and Half Marathon, the Charity’s own Humphrey’s Heroes Abseil, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, interdepartmental football tournaments and skydiving. Each staff member’s individual fundraising efforts were match-funded by the corporation. The business has also match-funded and sponsored a number of Charity events including this month’s Christmas Carols in the City and a special ball held in 2019 to mark the hospital’s 10th birthday of being at the Oxford Road site.
Caption: Prof Stavros Stivaros and Antony Cotton
Further funds have been raised in-house with the team organising fun days at the office including dressing up days, bake sales, a static bike challenge in the office and various social events. Employees have also signed up to make regular donations via payroll giving.
Peninsula Group staff are excited to come up with new ways to raise the additional £1million, which will support the treatment, research and care projects the Charity funds at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. These can include the purchase of specialist equipment to diagnose and provide treatment of young patients more quickly and easily, creating as child-friendly an environment as possible and funding pioneering medical research to increase our understanding of children’s illnesses and the optimum way to treat them.
Charity Patron and Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton said: “I’ve met some of the children this money will help, and I know it will be able to make a significant difference to the hospital. This is such a worthy cause and I can’t thank Peninsula’s staff enough for everything they’re doing.”
To find out more about Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity visit rmchcharity.org.uk
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