Column – Inside Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity with David Fisher

More than 28,000 people visited Valley Gardens to enjoy the entertainment at The Big Picnic.
More than 28,000 people visited Valley Gardens to enjoy the entertainment at The Big Picnic.

Following last month’s column which showcased the fantastic fundraising that is taking place within the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, you will be delighted to hear that our Intensive Care Team who raised £13,000 through taking part in Total Warrior, have been awarded “Team of the Month” in recognition of their achievement.

As you will be aware, NHS budgets are increasingly stretched so the work of Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity to support new equipment, capital projects, improve patient experience and motivate staff is having a positive impact upon your local hospital and community service.

Having highlighted the support that we get from our dedicated staff, this month I want to highlight the wonderful support we receive from the wider community.

Individuals and local groups regularly take on challenges, organise events and support our work through their fundraising efforts, all of which makes a huge difference to the patients and their families using both the hospital and community services.

Over the past year, we have been overwhelmed by the commitment and enthusiasm of the children from Belmont Grosvenor School in Birstwith who have been raising funds to improve the playroom on our Woodlands Children’s ward. They have taken part in a host of events including an all school sponsored walk, ‘gunge the teacher’ and an end of term ball.

Some of the children have also visited the ward and seen first-hand the current playroom facilities to get an understanding as to the difference their fundraising will make. It has been a joy to witness the children coming up with designs for how they might visualise the new playroom.

The Harrogate and district community has a real appetite for supporting local causes with thousands being raised at numerous events throughout the year.

A few recent examples include; Harrogate Round Table supporting our Special Care Baby Unit at their annual beer festival, Harrogate Rotary Club providing an army of volunteers for the annual Big Picnic Event, The Rainbow fund, along with their partners, donating funds in support of our Special Care Baby Unit, Woodlands Ward and Paediatric outpatients’ refurbishment.

Then we get those wonderful individuals who having benefited from the excellent care provided by both hospital and community services, wish to give something back and say ‘Thank You’.

Last year Andy Wilson, who is blind, did the Yorkshire Marathon; Dan Wilson organised the Marathon on The Stray, completing 13 two mile laps with support from other runners. More recently, 50 people did a 160ft bungee jump at the Knox pub for our diabetes resource centre and this September, Ian Walker, with Leroy his dog and two friends, will be walking from Coast to Coast to raise money for the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Unit.

In short, people really are awesome!

This was demonstrated only a few weeks ago at The Big Picnic, organised by the Friends of Harrogate Hospital Charity, when more than 28,000 people came to Valley Gardens for an afternoon of entertainment and family fun whilst helping to raise around £10,000.

We can all make a difference for our local hospital and community services, and for those who do, we say Thank You!

We have lots planned for you to get involved with, so watch this space, get inspired and join the fun!

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