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A million thank yous Essex from Southend Hospital Charity

29 December 2016


Three of the Fundraising Team at Southend Hospital Charity, Elise Fleetwood, Lucy Lock and Kayley Fletcher, would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone across Essex who has shown their support in 2016, the youngest a baby being Christened and the oldest a woman in her 90s walking 7km.

Southend Hospital Charity and Charitable Foundation have had a fantastic 2016; they are on track to raise over £1million by the end of the financial year and are due to successfully complete the Keyhole Cancer Appeal in the coming months.

This year also welcomed the launch of Southend Hospital's Dementia Appeal, which aims to raise £100k to fund multiple projects across the hospital to support patients living with Dementia.

As well as highlights from 2016 - see below - they've also had their only personal memorable moments with some amazing local people who have helped raise money for Southend University Hospital.

Elise Fleetwood, Events & Corporate Relations Manager, said: "I have really enjoyed working with Olympus KeyMed in our Charity of the Year partnership this year.  Their team of charity champions have been inspirational, they haven't stopped!  They have sky-dived, ran half marathons, washed cars, arranged an afternoon tea for former special care babies/families, taken part in a charity paintball event and organised endless desk and office fundraisers. 

"The amazing amount of money they have worked hard to raise - just over £55,000, will make such a big difference to our Neonatal Unit, the area they chose to support. The part of my job I love the most is seeing the final results.  The new heart scanner that Olympus KeyMed chose to fund will make so much positive difference to the lives of our future tiny patients and their families."

And it isn't just large companies that have raised huge amounts to make a real difference to the lives of others as Kayley Fletcher, Community Fundraising Manager, explained her in her personal choice.

She said: "The best part of my job is meeting so many wonderful people and understanding their personal motivation for supporting our hospital. One particular family is the Bloomfield Family, who have worked tirelessly to raise over £100,000 in memory of their dear wife and mother Janet Bloomfield, who died of cancer nine years ago. Alan and his children have made such a difference to the facilities that are now available within our Oncology Departments and we cannot thank them enough."

Individuals don't have to raise huge amounts to make a real difference and someone it is the little things that make just as much a real difference. That is echoed in the personal choice ofLucy Lock, Community Fundraising Officer.

She said: "We recently had a family whose child was looked after by our Neonatal Unit - often referred to as the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) by some parents - and when they had the baby christened they asked for donations to our Neonatal Unit rather than for presents. It's very inspirational seeing how much the hospital means to some people and I feel very fortunate that I can help supporters make a difference."

 Southend Hospital Charity highlights 2016

  • In April the hospital's Brachytherapy Suite opened thanks to a total of £400k raised from legacy and charitable funds to help build and equip the high dose rate (HDR) suite.  Some of these donations included a £20k gift from 'The Janet Bloomfield Tribute Fund' and a £51,800 donation from the Foster Family, which funded an upgrade to the HDR machine that delivers the brachytherapy.


  • In May, Dean Ovel, from Westcliff, raised over £8,200 for the Dementia Appeal by running for 24 hours in the 8ft high hamster wheel he designed and built himself. Not only did Dean raise an incredible sum for the appeal, his wacky but worthy challenge also saw him shortlisted from 14,000 entries, as one of three finalists in the Creative Fundraiser of the Year category for the JustGiving Awards.
  • Dave and Christine Searle from Thundersley, raised over £15,000 for the Renal Unit and purchased a vein finder machine.


  • Southend-on-Sea Bowls Club raised £4,750 in support of the stroke unit's bladder scanner appeal.


  • Hadleigh-based choir, The Orpheus Singers, raised over £4,000 for our Keyhole Cancer Appeal at their 'Singer Together' concert in April.


  • Trustee; Malachy O'Sullivan MBE from Shoebury, has once again worked tirelessly throughout the year to raise money for the hospital. Charity collections, charity shop management, a craft fair and in June a new fundraising event; Paws in the Park, a fun dog show! 


  • The Roslin Beach Hotel has continued to provide us with their heartfelt support.  This year our Staff Conservatory had a fabulous make-over, fundraising events have been sponsored and we received an amazing pledge to benefit our Dementia Appeal - more exciting detail to come in 2017!


  • The Rendezvous Casino have worked hard to raise over £5,000 for the Lighthouse Centre through a Charity of the Year partnership. The money will be used to purchase new sensory equipment for our young patients.


  • Olympus KeyMed completed their Charity of the Year partnership for the Neonatal Unit.  In total over £55,000 was raised, an incredible achievement.  This has funded a new heart scanner for our special care baby unit which will help save tiny lives.


  • In May two Davids were amongst those who tackled the goliath 154 feet tall hospital tower block in our Tackle the Tower charity abseil, which raised over £18,000 for 26 different wards and departments. Thank you to everyone that faced this fearful challenge of abseiling the 10 storeys of the tower block. 

 Date for your diary:Tackle the Tower 2017, Saturday 13 May 2017


  • And for those who wanted to take things at a more leisurely pace than jumping down the side of a building there was Walk for Wards in September, a 7 km sponsored walk along the seafront, which this year  raised over £11,000 for 39 different wards and departments. Thank you to all participants, including Dorothy Smith, from Southend, who is in her 90s.

 Date for your diary:Walk for Wards 2017, Sun 17 September 2017

If you are interested in helping raise money for a ward, area of Southend University Hospital or an existing fund in 2017 please contact the Fundraising Team by emailing fundraising@southend.nhs.uk