West Brom savers boost cancer appeal at Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Savers at a leading regional building society have helped to donate more than £65,000 to Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s biggest appeal to date to upgrade its cancer unit.

Birmingham Children's Hospital West Brom donation

Pictured from left are Jonathan Westhoff, Chief Executive of the West Brom, Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, with ten-month-old patient Tyler-Jae Hodder, and Dr Martin English, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist.

The money from the annual proceeds of the West Brom’s Red Balloon Appeal Account is paid each year based on the average balance held in all accounts.

This year the £65,138 bonus will benefit the hospital’s £4 million Children’s Cancer Centre Appeal to transform cramped and outdated facilities into a spacious, light and fit for purpose unit to help the 8,000 children who attend for cancer treatment each year.

Jonathan Westhoff, Chief Executive of the West Brom, toured the unit and other departments at the hospital when he paid a visit to mark the donation.

He said: “It was inspirational to see the skills of medical and nursing staff and their enthusiasm and pride in this exceptional hospital.  Caring for children with cancer is hugely demanding, but the atmosphere throughout was positive and professional.

“The West Brom has been supporting Birmingham Children’s Hospital since we launched the Red Balloon affinity account in 2007.  As a mutual we believe in assisting causes close to the heart of our communities.

“Our members have shown their support for the hospital through this account and I am sure they will be delighted by the latest sum, which brings the total donated to £445,000.”

Hospital Chief Executive Sarah-Jane Marsh said: “We are so grateful for the financial and moral support of the West Brom over the years; it has been amazing.

“Our Children’s Cancer Centre Appeal is the biggest the hospital has ever launched and we need the public’s support if we are to reach our target to upgrade our ward and outpatient areas.

“Young patients with cancer come to us from all over the country and it’s really important that we provide them with the best experience possible.”

The unit is more than 30 years old and the service has totally outgrown capacity.  The £4 million will enable the hospital to increase the space around patients’ beds, provide better communal areas for families and improve the outpatients’ areas which are busier than ever.

Having a bright, child friendly and fun unit which has playrooms, spacious bedrooms and a new suite where children have their chemotherapy will mean a more welcoming environment for children and families who are likely to make hundreds of visits during the course of treatment.