On Thursday 14th November 2019, St George’s Hospital Charity and Imperium Investments hosted a Children’s Appeal fundraising dinner at the House of Commons, London. The charity’s goal is to raise £1.3m towards refurbishing the children’s wards, creating bright and modern spaces that reflect the exceptional care offered by St George’s staff.
The children’s departments at St George’s Hospital care for nearly 40,000 children every year from across south west London, Surrey, Sussex and beyond. Each child is looked after by an incredible team of staff, from the smallest babies to teenagers and young adults.
There were around 60 guests in attendance on the evening, including Imperium’s business contacts, actor Chizzy Akudolu from Holby City and Strictly Come Dancing, St George’s Hospital Charity trustees and donors, plus doctors, nurses and staff from St George’s Hospital.
Gemma Phillips, General Manager of Children’s Medicine at St George’s Hospital said:
“We have over 750 dedicated and passionate members of staff who go above and beyond every day with the mission of delivering outstanding care every time. One of the reasons why we’re here today is that we need to do more to promote the incredible, life-saving and quality of life enhancing work we do and to garner support to enable us to complete a much needed refurbishment of our children’s wards and facilities, which unfortunately are rather outdated, and no longer fit for purpose for the delivery of modern healthcare.
Our aim is to ensure that we are able to offer an environment that matches the amazing care, so that we have the look and feel of a modern Children’s hospital, recognising that the environment is critical to our young patient’s experience of being in hospital when they are at their most vulnerable. A modern environment would go a long way towards keeping our young patient’s spirits up, as the dark, dull wards do have an impact on the morale of our patients and their families, particularly those who need to be with us for long time or have a disabilities and complex needs.”
Imperium Investments generously hosted the evening and is a longstanding supporter of St George’s Hospital Charity’s Children’s Appeal. Dmitry Leus, CEO and founder of Imperium Investments, and a philanthropist and patron of St George’s Hospital explained at the event: “It’s a great privilege for me to have opportunity to be part of a team with these extraordinary people helping children who face terrible diseases but remain so brave and inspiring.”
Miles Herne, a former young patient at St George’s, shared his hospital experience with guests. In 2018, Miles was diagnosed with a brain tumour that had grown to the size of a satsuma. After his operation, he was supposed to be out of hospital after a week but finally awoke after four weeks. Miles was treated on Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU), the step down unit and Nicholls ward, which cares for children aged 0-18 years. Miles explained that the beds and hoists were too small for his 6-foot frame, the lighting too harsh and the wards were far too hot in the summer. Miles chose to fundraise to improve the hospital environment and equipment for future patients. So far, Miles and his family have risen over £74,000, with fundraising activities including sponsored runs, cycles and head-shaves.
Guests at the event also learned more about Megan, a brave young former patient of St George’s Hospital, with a short film telling her story At the age of 14 Megan was diagnosed with leukaemia and was treated at St George’s, spending over a month in hospital. Megan introduced Dmitry Leus and Imperium to St George’s and the work of the charity, which inspired him to fund new equipment and the regeneration of a children’s garden.
The personal stories of Megan and Miles helped to bring to life the important work of St George’s children’s services and the need to refurbish the children’s wards. Over £7,500 was pledged in donations on the night by guests, which will go towards making this a reality.
Source St George’s Hospital Charity