A lot has changed at The Forever Friends Appeal since it started in 1999. This is a brief look at the history so far.
At the end of 1998 the hospital embarked upon a major redevelopment scheme to provide up-to-date facilities to meet the demands of modern health care.
The RUH had grown haphazardly on its present site and despite the provision of excellent and comprehensive services, important shortcomings were identified, mainly:
Buildings in a poor state of repair
Insufficient modern facilitates
Departments split across the 53 acre site
Insufficient day surgery facilities
Shortage of medical equipment
The hospital undertook a major £49.5 million redevelopment project to meet these challenges and ensure the very best patient care well into the 21st century. £39.5 million was secured from the NHS to replace the hospital’s oldest and most inflexible buildings and create a new central ‘heart’ for the RUH, the remaining £10 million was to be raised by the newly formed fundraising department, now know and loved as The Forever Friends Appeal.
In 2007 the Appeal moved onto a new challenge in the form of the CT Scanner Campaign, which was launched in 2005 to raise £850,000 for a second CT Scanner (read more about the CT Scanner Campaign here).
Whilst raising the funds for the CT Scanner, the RUH Charities committee were looking behind the scenes at what the Appeal would work on after, and it was to become a major challenge for everyone involved.
In July 2007 The Forever Friends Appeal launched the NICU ‘space to grow’ Campaign to the public in a blaze of publicity to raise initially approximately £3 million for a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for premature babies. After the first 6 months of planning the concept behind this new unit it was clear that this amount was not sufficient for the ambitious plans that everyone had for the unit. Therefore the RUH committed to a funding £3 million into the unit. Read more about the NICU ‘space to grow’ Campaign here.
The fundraising for the NICU ‘space to grow’ Campaign was completed just before Christmas in 2010, and has lead The forever Friends onto a two phase campaing titled RUH Space for cancer care. Phase 1 to raise £650,000 for a Gamma-CT Scanner was completed in 2012, when the Appeal annouced the much larger phase 2, to help build a new Cancer Centre at the RUH – find out more here.
Whilst working on major campaigns the Appeal also continues to support and raise funds for all other areas of the RUH.