Ipswich Hospital launches Sunrise Appeal to raise £100k for neonatal and paediatric units

Eight year old Oliver Hindle helps launch the appeal

Eight year old Oliver Hindle helps launch the appeal - Credit: Andy Abbott

The Ipswich Hospital Charity has said it wants to raise £100,000 in three months to improve the care it provides to babies and young children.

Sunrise appeal

Sunrise appeal - Credit: Archant

The Sunrise Appeal will help fund upgrades and new equipment to the hospital’s neonatal and paediatric units.

One of the faces of the campaign, which launched on Friday, is eight-year-old Oliver Hindle from Ipswich.

Oliver has cystic fibrosis and both he and his family have experienced first-hand the work of the hospital’s staff.

The money raised by the appeal will be spent on turning a “good clinical experience into a great one”, according to hospital chief executive Nick Hulme.

Mr Hulme said the hospital’s funding could provide the basics needed by the units but the aim was to provide “a bit extra”.

He added: “We have about 500 premature babies that go through our neonatal unit every year and the babies and their families need a huge amount of support.”

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“What we hope to do by raising this money is to provide additional care and support to parents and children while they are with us.

“Sometimes the basics aren’t quite enough. It’s a stressful time, particularly for the parents.

“We’ve listened to what staff and patients and parents have told us and we are putting that into practice.”

Kate Ashton, head of fundraising with the Ipswich Hospital Charity, said: “We support all areas of the hospital and we have over 100 different funds. We want to be able to go forward and reach out into the community.

“The area where people have been saying they very much want to be able to make a different is neonatal and also for young children that are sick.

“Some of the clinicians came and talked to me and we have the chief executive’s absolute support. We hope this is the first piece of big support work the charity will do and in subsequent years we’ll be able to support other areas.

“We know the community is absolutely fabulous and we would love everyone to get on board with us. We think if we go viral with the community support we will get there.”

At the launch event on Friday, new dad Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, said: “We do have exceptional care here in Ipswich but clearly another £100,000 is going to improve the quality of the experience even more.

“This is the second campaign in as many weeks being launched at the hospital to try and create centres of excellence.

“It’s the reassurance that it provides people. That’s why it’s good making it a public campaign – people first of all get to know there is an existing maternity unit of extraordinary standing, and that we’re trying to make it even better.

“The public face of it is very important.”

Oliver Hindle

Oliver Hindle was only a few months old when he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

He has spent a lot of time being looked after at the hospital and now, aged eight, he is one of the faces of the Sunrise Appeal.

Mum Terri Hindle, aged 29, said having a young child in hospital and another at home was tough for her family.

“Oliver was very poorly when he was first born and he was losing weight. His milk was just going straight through him and he was being sick,” she said.

“He had a test done and then I had a specialist nurse come to my house and said the results had come back positive for cystic fibrosis.

“Being in hospital and having to leave an 11-month-old baby at home was very hard.

“They’re so welcoming and friendly up here at the hospital though. The hospital visits are so much easier with those little home comforts.”

The mother-of-three from Whitehouse said Oliver was now starting to understand his condition and what he was doing with the Sunrise Appeal would help other children like him.

“He’s got very excited,” she said. “We’ve explained to him what it is and that it’s going to be raising money for other poorly children.

“All this money raised is going to help that little bit more.”

Oliver said: “I feel really happy. I’m proud of being involved in it.

“I used to be ill but now I’m getting really better.

“The hospital has really helped me get better and I’m not as sleepy any more.”