Regulars to our website and those who read our charity news will know that one of our priorities this year is to raise funds to support the journey of our Genetics and Genomics Testing Service to become world class.

This journey made a giant leap forward this month when it was recommended for accreditation. This is a small team, brilliantly led by Dr Debbie Morris-Rosendahl, and they do extraordinary work.

The programme will make genetic testing much more readily available and allow doctors to diagnose potentially fatal inherited heart and lung conditions. Many of us have heard of Fabrice Muamba – the footballer who ‘died’ on the pitch during a televised FA Cup match in 2012.  Despite his heart stopping for 78 minutes, his life was saved by quick and clever medics, thank goodness. But if he had been diagnosed with the cardiac condition that caused him to collapse, such a near tragedy could have been avoided altogether.

The Charity is thrilled to have secured a major gift from a Charitable Trust for our Genetics and Genomics Testing Service Appeal. This grant will go towards buying a very special piece of equipment called a NextSeq 550 sequencer, which can read many more specimens at one time, which will eventually make diagnosis faster and more accurate. The Charitable Trust have set us, the Charity, the challenge of matching their very generous gift.  So, we are fundraising with renewed vigour and excitement.  If you have supported this fundraising campaign, thank you – your gift is already making a difference.  If you want to know more, please click here or contact the charity on fundraising@rbht.nhs.uk and ask for a leaflet.

In other news, yesterday we had a super team day. In the morning, we examined our ways of working as a team and I am very pleased to say that we have a wide range of skills and personalities. The team has a great mixture of doers, problem solvers, financiers, communicators and support staff – not to mention a healthy spread of inspirers and visionaries. So your charity is in fine fettle!

Many thanks to Dan at the Old Orchard Pub in Harefield for providing us with a wonderful venue and looking after us so well.  The Old Orchard staff are regular supporters of Harefield and the Charity. Ashley, our Head of Fundraising, created an amazing scavenger hunt for us all to do after the hard work was completed and the team had a great time.  In among the drive and ambition to raise funds to support these two fantastic hospitals, there is also real enjoyment at working for such a terrific charity and I think this charity team is the best ever!