You've done it!
Thanks to the “amazing” fundraising efforts of the community an incredible £500,000 has finally been raised for the Every Heart Matters appeal which was aimed at creating a new diagnostic unit at the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.
From a glittering black tie Guineas Ball, at Newmarket, to the Stowmarket Striders Running Club Summer Trail Runs and from sharp shooters lining up at Eriswell Lodge to a Santa’s Grotto by Haverhill Lions Club there has been a host of events and initiatives staged to raise money for the appeal.
But the final total peaked thanks to £15,000 being raised from the World War 1 Trail in the town which attracted thousands of people into Bury St Edmunds.
Officials at the My WiSH Charity, which has been behind the appeal, said they were “thrilled and delighted” that the total had now been reached and was a big boost for them at Christmas.
Sue Smith, the head of fundraising for My WiSH, said: “This was a huge appeal for us to undertake and to have had so much support has just been incredible. The community have really got behind us as they know what a difference the new service will make. It’s been amazing to have already seen the difference it is making to, not only patients, but also their relatives and to the staff so thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has supported our appeal and changed the future of cardiac care.”
The appeal, which was backed by the East Anglian Daily Times and the Mercury Series newspapers, has resulted in the Bury St Edmunds hospital transforming the heart healthcare it can provide to patients and the Every Heart Matters appeal was the biggest ever undertaken by the My WiSH Charity. The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has invested £5.2 million in developing the cardiac suite which for the first time can offer additional procedures like angiography and pacemakers to patients.
The money raised by My WiSH has gone towards the new lower-ground floor unit at the hospital allowing the cardiac diagnostic unit to be brought down to join the new cardiology ward and imaging suite meaning all services and specialties are all together.
Famous jockey and My WiSH ambassador Frankie Dettori, who launched the Every Heart Matters appeal last year, returned earlier this month to open the unit.
He said: “What an amazing achievement. The local community really stepped up to show their support to ensure great new facilities in our local hospital. Well done and thank you to everyone for supporting the appeal. I’m so impressed by the new space, we’re a very lucky community to have it.”
And Dr Pegah Salahshouri, cardiology consultant at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, who was instrumental in bringing the centre to fruition added: “I am so proud of the hard work and dedication of the multiple teams who have been involved in creating the new cardiac centre.
“It is a fantastic space and means we can offer our patients a fully integrated cardiac service and much improved care here in west Suffolk.
“Bringing together our cardiac care unit, cardiology inpatient ward and cardiac diagnostics unit, enables a much more efficient way of working for our staff and better continuity of care for our patients.
“We are now one team, sharing the same space and no longer spread out across the hospital. More importantly we can now provide a combination of elective and non-elective angiography and pacemaker surgery procedures to our local residents.”
JUST SOME OF THE AMAZING FUNDRAISING INITIATIVES
Cycling mad colleagues from Delphi, in Sudbury, took to their bikes for a charity ride across Germany. They rode from Dusseldorf to the company’s site in Luxembourg, a total of 250 miles, raising £1,636.10.
Bury Golf Club raised £10,355 from a series of fundraising initiatives.
A series of tea dances held at the British Sugar Social Club, in Bury St Edmunds, boosted the funds by £1,000.
Generous £150,000 legacy propelled the appeal forward.
NHS70 party held at the Victory Ground, in Bury St Edmunds, raised £647.
Collection at the funeral of a well-known farm labourer from Feltwell raised £1,000.
Dance night and bingo session at Brandon Leisure Centre raised £1,510.
Cycle ride from Caernarfon to Chepstow carried out by Brian Alldis, who has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, raised £660.
Mulleys coaches helped the charity advertise the appeal on their fleet of buses.
Cardiac Diagnostic staff worked tirelessly to support fundraisers events and even held their own Bake Off.
Written by Russell Cook