Sheffield helipad appeal receives significant boost

The fundraising campaign for a life-saving helipad at Sheffield Children’s Hospital took a major step forward today thanks to a £562,500 charity donation.

The HELP Appeal’s Chief Executive Robert Bertram presented the second instalment of their £2.25M pledge to David Vernon-Edwards, Director of The Children’s Hospital Charity. It takes the fundraising towards the Helipad to more than £1.3M.

The HELP Appeal is the only charity in the country that funds lifesaving NHS hospital helipads. In 2016, it helped fund the helipad at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital.

Its total donation of £2.25 million will cover half the cost of the helipad. The £6m The Children’s Hospital Charity’s appeal is raising includes a contingency fund should costs rise before its expected completion in 2023.

Due to its status as a regional Major Trauma Centre, the Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital helps up to 200 children a day. The helipad will ensure a smooth patient transfer for patients who need critical care directly into the hospital without having to cross the road.

Currently, air ambulances land in Weston Park and patients are then transported across the busy A57 under a police escort before entering the Emergency Department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

One child who knows how important a Helipad would be for the Major Trauma Centre at Sheffield Children’s Hospital is 15-year-old Bradley Duke. In January 2017, Bradley from Middlewood was seriously injured in a car crash on his way to school.

Everyone in the car was knocked unconscious and Bradley sustained multiple fractures to his skull, face, spine and wrist. The BMW automatically alerted the emergency services to give rescuers the car’s location.

An air ambulance was called to the scene of the crash and Bradley was put into an induced coma before being taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Bradley travelled on his own in the helicopter, landing in Weston Park where he was met by a team of emergency medicine professionals who rushed him across the busy road into the hospital’s resuscitation area.

Bradley underwent a six-hour-long operation and spent more than a month in Sheffield Children’s Hospital, including nine days in a coma, before his discharge.

Sheffield helipad appeal receives significant boost
Bradley’s first day back at school

Bradley continues to struggle with his short-term memory, but he has now returned to school, where together with his classmates he is fundraising for the new Helipad.

Bradley’s Mum Claire said:

“Building the Helipad and expanding the Emergency Department would help ensure the staff have the facilities they need to save more lives like Bradley’s.”

The new Helipad would ensure air ambulances are able to land in the park after dark, significantly extending its operation throughout winter. It would also have electric trace heating incorporated into the deck to ensure that ice and snow do not disrupt the continued use of the facility during periods of inclement weather.

David Vernon-Edwards, Director of The Children’s Hospital Charity said:

“This new helipad has never been more needed, to help patients who need critical care arrive at our Emergency Department as quickly as possible. We’re so grateful to Robert and the HELP Appeal for their generous support today as we move one step closer to making this life-saving project a reality.”

Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal added:

“Seriously ill children throughout Sheffield and beyond deserve the best medical care and a helipad close to the emergency department will be one of the main ways to achieve this. The HELP Appeal’s second instalment of over £562,000 will hopefully provide a huge boost to The Children’s Hospital Charity’s campaign for a helipad.”