We are delighted to announce that we have now reached our £1.1 million target for Harefield’s Intensive Care Unit! This has been a huge appeal that will help save the lives of hundreds of people in generations now and to come. We’ll be letting you know more in due course in our News page, but I couldn’t write a blog without mentioning it!

So, we look to new ways in which we can help our hospitals. And sometimes, the most prosaic of fundraising campaigns can make a huge difference. 

Often our Charity is buying bright shiny pieces of equipment, or even helping to build whole new wings and wards. But our current campaign is to (among a few other things) lower a piece of desk – yes really. But the difference it will make will be transformative. For years our colleagues who work in the babies’ and children’s ward at Royal Brompton have been asking to change the layout of the reception.  The desk is too high, too dingy, too intimidating. Imagine being a parent of a critically ill child, and being met by an unwelcoming and confusing reception area, when you need to speak to someone about your child’s condition. When money is tight, however, every pound is spent on medical equipment and the most urgent and necessary medicines. So, these important but slightly different needs get put on the back burner.  

Making the difference is what this Charity is all about – especially if it is greatly needed, but not possible to fund with NHS money.  So we are raising money, jointly with another of the hospital’s charities, Brompton Fountain, to change the welcome area to our babies’ wards.  And, by making this change possible, the Charity has unlocked another prize! Now, at last – a new state-of-the-art medicine dispensary can be installed, which will save medical staff hours of their time every week.

So, it is the most humble of projects that will bring a warm and open welcome to our families when they arrive on the paediatric ward. That in turn will make the children and their parents calmer, which will make the whole experience that little bit more bearable. We are already a third of the way to our £60k target and we know we will get there. Will you help us? 

On a slightly different note, I want to say many congratulations to 30 gravity defying fundraisers who braved abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit on Sunday to raise funds for our Charity. Among them were three of our staff – Joanna Lewin, Sallinder Rai and Joe Dunster. Well done to all of those who took the 262ft plunge, and whose determination together raised around £15,000!

And, as the sun shines again, it’s time to register for the Harefield Fun Run & Family Day. Now in its 36th year, this is a truly landmark event for our Charity and one of the best-loved.  If you haven’t been before, come this year to avoid missing a treat – and an emotional roller coaster!  So many brave people – patients, their families and friends, as well as hospital staff – take part to say thank you to the remarkable Harefield Hospital for saving lives and giving lives back to people of all ages.  The wonderful Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub will be there to open the day. There are those who say we would not have Harefield without him, so join me, and come and cheer both the amazing Professor, and the runners. And if you’re not into running, then come along for the party atmosphere, the delicious food and the family-friendly fun! Click here to secure a special early-bird price (available until 31 July).