Former professional rugby union player Ed Jackson has joined The Forever Friends Appeal, the fundraising charity for the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath, as an ambassador for its new RNHRD & Therapies Centre fundraising campaign.
To mark the event he got the fundraising ball rolling by accepting a cheque for £200,000 from benefactor Andrew Brownsword to match the same amount already raised by members of the public.
The Brownsword Charitable Foundation has pledged to match every pound donated up to the level of £1 million to help The Forever Friends Appeal achieve their target.
The former Bath Rugby back row, born in Bath, had a freak accident at a family barbecue back in April this year. When Ed dived into the shallow end of a swimming pool thinking it was the deep end, he was left with a broken neck. Ed, 28 years old was told at the time that he may not walk again.
After a gruelling recovery and rehabilitation at three different hospitals, including the Royal United Hospitals Bath, Ed’s mobility is improving and he is making incredible progress.
As an ambassador for the fundraising campaign, Ed looks forward to increasing awareness and helping to raise funds for the much-needed new centre that will bring together a number of services from the RNHRD including rheumatology, therapies and a number of pain management services with those at the RUH in a new purpose-built facility.
Ed Jackson said:
“As a spinal injury patient, I have learned just how important the environment is to wellbeing and recovery, having spent so much time lying down and staring at the ceiling, and unable to leave the hospital setting. Therapeutic environments, calming surroundings and mental stimulation are hugely beneficial. Staff at the RUH do an amazing job, and I believe that they should be supported by working in the right environments to help them to deliver the best level of care too.
“We need the public’s support to help raise the remaining £800,000 towards an innovative and therapeutic new centre. Thanks to the Brownsword Match Funding Challenge, every pound you donate will be matched by the Brownsword Charitable Foundation, doubling all your support. If you can support the campaign, please do visit the Appeal’s website to find out more. ”
The RNHRD and Therapies Centre will include a new hydrotherapy pool, a specialist gym, a therapeutic garden and clinical areas. As with existing cancer care facilities, the existing Therapies unit is outdated and does not compliment the quality of care provided by staff. The Therapies unit is also located where the new Cancer Centre is due to be built. Over the next 18 months, the hospital will be building the new RNHRD & Therapies Centre, making way for the new Cancer Centre in 2019.
Katie Burfitt, Development Officer, The Forever Friends Appeal said:
“We are delighted to welcome Ed as an ambassador for The RNHRD and Therapies Centre fundraising campaign. Ed knows all about the importance of creating the right environment to help patients recover, and we’re really grateful to Ed for supporting this project. Whether patients are recovering from a spinal injury like Ed, heart attack or stroke, or whether they need to come to the RUH more regularly to manage a long-term condition, the new centre will help to provide the very best level of care to so many patients and their families.”
For more information about The RNHRD and Therapies Centre and to make a donation to the fundraising campaign, please visit our campaign page here.