Celeb football match to kick off hospital fundraising appeal

Bradford Hospitals’ Charity is launching a brand new fundraising appeal to improve radiology facilities for children in the city’s hospitals.

The campaign will officially launch at a celebrity football match this Sunday 14 April 2019 at Horsfall Stadium, Bradford – the home of Bradford Park Avenue.

Media are invited to attend at 1.20pm, before the match kicks off at 1.30pm.

Celebrities from TV and radio, as well as ex-professional footballers, will play a team of NHS staff from Bradford Teaching Hospitals. Mascots will take part in a fun penalty shootout at half-time, and there will be entertainment, stalls and a charity auction.

Famous players will include Emmerdale actor James Hooton (Sam Dingle), actor Jamie Lee-Hill (Far from the Madding Crowd), Mrs Browns’ Boys’ Rory Brown, Hollyoaks’ David Kennedy (Dirk Savage), Tim Bradbury of Tiny Tim Adventures, singer and actor Ash Stevenson, Big Brother’s Ellie Young, Sky Sports presenter Tom White, Pulse 2 football commentator Jason Thornton, and ex professional footballers David Norris, Lee Duxbury, Craig Armstrong and Darren Williams.

The celebs will square up to NHS staff from across Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – from Chief Nurse Karen Dawber, who will play in goal, Finance Director Matthew Horner, consultant histopathologist and team captain Faisal Ali, to nurses, doctors, radiographers, pharmacy technicians, health care assistants, admin and technical staff.

The event is being hosted by Supporting Charities FC in support of Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, with all money raised going towards the Rays a Smile appeal.

Rays a Smile aims to raise £250,000 to:

  • Create designated children’s waiting areas at Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, which are bright, warm and welcoming and kitted out with distraction toys,
  • revamp some rooms used for X-ray, ultrasound, CT scans and MRI scans with colourful décor to distract children,
  • create a ‘snuggle room’ for parents to soothe babies to sleep before scans, to avoid the need for general anaesthetic,
  • purchase a specialist ‘Relax and View’ machine, which plays films and videos while the young patient is undergoing an MRI scan,
  • purchase sound systems to play music for children while they are scanned.

Almost all patients treated in hospital, either as an inpatient or outpatient, are referred for imaging. Around 55 children are imaged every single day in Bradford’s hospitals.

Most radiology staff work from the basement in Bradford Royal Infirmary, which has little natural light, using X-ray, ultrasound, CT and MRI to diagnose patients. A smaller unit of ultrasound and X-ray is based at St Luke’s Hospital’s D Block.

It is believed that a brighter, more child-friendly environment will benefit all patients, including some adults who find imaging stressful. It will also speed up scan times because people will be less anxious and avoid sedation, thus providing better quality images.

Dr LeeAnne Elliott, paediatric radiologist, said: “We now have a brand new, bright and colourful children’s ward, which has dramatically improved the experiences for our young patients coming in for treatment. But when they are called for imaging, they are often very daunted to enter radiology, where they are met by large machines which are loud and, certainly for children, quite scary.

“Anxiety can cause delays in scanning, which can potentially delay treatment. We want to put children and their families at ease, ensuring they get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. But we need your help to do this.”

Hayley Collis, head of fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, said: “It is a long time since we launched a fundraising appeal, so we’re excited to unveil our plans to transform our radiology services for children.

“Most people will have experience of having an x-ray, which is daunting enough. In fact most adults are very anxious when they have an MRI or CT scan. Imagine if it were your child who needed one of these scans and how scary it would be. We want to provide the best for Bradford’s children when they come into hospital, but we need to fundraise to do this.

“The people of Bradford love their NHS and want to support it, so we’re confident residents and businesses will back us to reach our quarter of a million pound target.”

She added a BIG thank you to SpaceKraft, Nuffield Health and Irwin Mitchell for sponsoring the NHS team football kit!

To find out more about the Rays a Smile appeal, to view the appeal video and find out how you can donate and fundraise, visit www.bradfordhospitalscharity.org.uk/rays-a-smile

Featured in the appeal video is 10-year-old MollyMae Windle, who is backing the appeal. MolllyMae has Cystic Fibrosis and, as a patient at Bradford Royal Infirmary, has to have lots of scans.

If you would like to know more about Bradford Hospitals’ Charity – the official NHS charity partner of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – and how you can support your local hospitals, visit www.bradfordhospitalscharity.org. Alternatively, contact Hayley Collis or Elaine Drake on 01274 274809 or email [email protected]


 Note to Editors:

  • Pictures from l to r: Radiology Sister Paula Farrell, Hayley Collis (head of fundraising) and Dr LeeAnne Elliott (paediatric radiologist).
  • Bradford Hospitals’ Charity is one of more than 250 NHS charities based around the UK. It supports the strategic direction of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust by funding projects which go over and above what he NHS provides.

For more information about NHS charities and how they support the NHS visit the Association of NHS Charities website at www.anhsc.org.uk

  • In 2017, a new £28million wing opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary, which was part of a £75m investment to improve patient care across our hospitals. It provides world-class facilities for the elderly, children and a brand new intensive care unit. Bradford Hospitals’ Charity provided £260,000 to enable the Trust to create family friendly environments, state-of-the-art equipment and innovative distraction toys and games for young people.
  • With the support of Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, BTHFT was also able to provide more cots, including intensive care and high dependency cots, new family accommodation, a revamped counselling suite and a dedicated room for mothers to express milk for pre-term babies when the new neonatal unit opened in 2015.

For further media information, please contact Kelly Thornham, Communications Officer, at [email protected] or call 01274 383352.

Twitter: @BTHFTCharity, Facebook: bradfordhospitalscharity, Instagram:Bthftcharity LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/bradfordhospitalscharity

Thank you to our ‘Team Bradford Hospitals’ Charity’ sponsors!