Heart appeal is a Wiz of an idea.
Every year 1,300 people in the UK die in need of an organ, and only eight in every ten heart transplant patients will receive the heart they need. Now, as Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s Tin Man in the Christmas production of The Wizard of Oz goes in search of a heart, the theatre is joining forces with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity to raise funds in support of the hospital’s Heart Transplant Department alongside the theatre’s million pound campaign, REP First.
The city centre theatre will be raising funds throughout their production of The Wizard of Oz which runs until Sunday 13 January. After each performance a bucket collection will help jointly fundraise towards the work of the two charities.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is one of only six heart transplant hospitals in the UK. It averages over 25 heart transplants each year. The money raised from the performances of The Wizard of Oz will help towards funding added extras for patients, staff and families that go over and above what the NHS can fund.
The REP’s million pound campaign, REP First aims to raise vital funds in order to ensure that the theatre can continue to nurture the region’s talented young artists; commission exciting new shows welcome new audiences and reach out to the communities of Birmingham and beyond.
Rachel Cranny, Head of Fundraising at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, said: “The Tin Man’s quest for a heart provided the perfect inspiration for this year’s fundraising partnership. Theatre and the arts have proven benefits that can improve people’s wellbeing and so the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and their incredible work is the perfect companion charity to our own REP First appeal.”
Sophie Carroll, Senior Fundraiser at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity, added: “We are extremely happy to be partnering with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre to help raise money for patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham who sadly need a heart transplant.
“The money raised throughout the shows at the theatre will go towards the added extras for patients, staff and families at the hospital that go over and above what the NHS can fund.”
The joint fundraising initiative has also been welcomed by theatre-goer and former heart bypass patient, Patricia Hughes: “The cardiac unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is literally close to my heart! When I had my heart bypass at the QE the medical staff and other patients were a real inspiration and very kind to me.
“Similarly The REP is also a theatre very close to my heart having been an audience member for over forty years and also a former board member. I’m delighted that these two brilliant charities are bringing hearts and minds together to raise money to further their inspirational work.”
The Wizard of Oz is at Birmingham Repertory Theatre until 13th January 2019. For more information visit birmingham-rep.co.uk For more information on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity and their Heart in a Box campaign, visit hospitalcharity.org/heart.
Pics – John James