CHILDREN who need emergency medical care will benefit from a new £6m helipad on the roof of Sheffield Children’s Hospital thanks to the generosity of the public, charities and local businesses supporting The Children’s Hospital Charity.
The new helipad will reduce delays for patients who need urgent critical care from across South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, and offer privacy and dignity. Sheffield Children’s is one of only five dedicated Major Trauma Centres in England, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Air ambulances currently have to land in Weston Park, where trauma patients are then stretchered across a busy road under a police escort before entering the Emergency Department.
The £6million barrier was broken by The BNA Charitable Trust with a donation of £50,000, and Westfield Health who donated a total of £95,000 towards the helipad, with their final donation of £50,000 in March 2023.
National charity HELP Appeal donated an incredible £2,818,500 in total – the largest contribution to the Helipad Appeal. Working with The Children’s Hospital Charity since 2014, the HELP Appeal is the only charity in the country dedicated to funding hospital helipads, relying solely on support from public donations.
Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the HELP Appeal, said:
“We’d like to thank our supporters – from those who donated to people who took on massive challenges and time out of their busy lives to raise money for our lifesaving work. Without these heroes, our donation to Sheffield Children’s wouldn’t have been possible.
“We were hugely touched by the stories of brave Freddie, courageous Rio and many more young patients, who had to wait to cross a busy road after landing in an air ambulance in Weston Park. We want to ensure the patients of Sheffield Children’s who need lifesaving care, are able to access it immediately and a helipad at the hospital will make this possible.
“The £2.8 million we have donated is one of the biggest we have ever made because having a rooftop helipad situated above its Emergency Department will truly be a game changer.”
The Children’s Hospital Charity also had support from mattress and bedding company Sleepeezee, who donated £57,000 from its Jessica mattress range in partnership with brand ambassador and Charity patron Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill.
The Children’s Hospital Charity also won £100,000 from the Persimmon Homes Building Futures campaign, following a public vote for the prize.
Fundraisers from across the country rallied together to support Sheffield Children’s, including Eddie Williams who raised over £34,000 alone. Children also got involved, becoming Helipad Heroes and hosting bake sales, accomplishing sponsored walks, and taking part in Pyjama Day. The first Helipad Hero, 9-year-old Edie Doherty raised hundreds of pounds after being treated at Sheffield Children’s herself.
Wadsley Women’s Institute raised an amazing £2,600 for the helipad throughout the pandemic, selling afternoon tea packages for the local community to enjoy at home as well as hosting a band concert in aid of Sheffield Children’s.
John Armstrong, CEO of The Children’s Hospital Charity, said:
“We couldn’t be happier to reach our target and we would like to thank everyone involved, from our Helipad Heroes who raised money through bake sales, to our corporate partnerships, grant-making bodies and charities that have worked incredibly hard to raise the money.
“The helipad is one of the largest projects the Charity has ever appealed for, and we’re overwhelmed by the generosity of supporters both locally and across the country. We’re excited to watch the build take place, and are excited for its opening at the end of 2023.”
To find out more about The Children’s Hospital Charity and its work supporting Sheffield Children’s, please visit: www.tchc.org.uk.