Few causes, the Six Nations aside, have managed to unite the people of Wales in the way that the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital has.
It was born of the passion, hard work and dedication of people from across the country who campaigned and fundraised to turn it into a real, beating heart of excellent child healthcare for Wales.
For more than a decade families and communities across Wales have gone to great lengths and undertaken ambitious activities to raise funds for the hospital and support its work.
The work of the Children’s Hospital inspires support and goodwill from across Wales. Huge amounts of money have been raised by Wooden Spoon, Dreams and Wishes, the Trust for Sick Children, Clic Sargent, Kidney Wales, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Leon Heart Fund.
Millions of pounds are raised by the many dedicated charities that are an important part of its work.
That generosity and commitment has seen the Children’s Hospital built and equipped, making a huge difference to lives across Wales. Welsh Government provided £63.8 million in funding for phase two.
Millions of pounds have been raised since the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity launched the campaign for phase one.
Suzanne Mainwaring, the charity’s Director, said that the charity had raised a total of £20 million for the hospital and plans to continue its important efforts.
She said: “The Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity has seen continued support from across Wales. From cake sales to cycling from the UK to Holland, marathon running to Elvis nights in your local pub; all our fundraisers have been part of the journey to build the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital.
“It is a total privilege to work alongside ordinary working people and local businesses who through their fundraising efforts are helping us support the hospital.
“There are always more pieces of equipment to be bought and equipment to be maintained. We urge people to continue to support us and become part of this amazing legacy.”
Noah’s Ark is just one of a number of charity partners that are rallying to support the Children’s Hospital. As a centre offering a variety of highly specialised care for children, the hospital benefits from the backing of many specialist charities who play an integral role in hospital life.
LATCH Welsh Children’s Cancer Charity supports these children and their families from the time of diagnosis through to the end of treatment and has offices within the Children’s Hospital.
The charity provides the families with home-from-home accommodation where they can stay during the long weeks and sometimes months that the children spend in hospital.
Grants to help with travelling expenses and the cost of living in hospital are also provided, together with grants for the many different types of expenditure associated with a child on treatment.
The Leon Heart Fund, set up by his mum Julie Montanari, is one of countless examples of grateful families who want to say thank you to the hospital and its staff for their care and support.
Her son Leon was born with a heart condition that needed a transplant at just 10 months old. Leon spent a lot of time in and around the hospital before he died at the age of 13.
Julie now helps raise money for grants for other families to help with travelling costs. She has also provided a quiet room for use by families and staff, named in honour of Leon’s memory.
The fund has raised £100,000 to date and helped over a hundred families.
Julie said: “I am forever grateful to all the staff for what they did for Leon, I’ll do my best to help them out in the future by helping to provide facilities to make their jobs easier.
“They treated Leon really well and did everything they could for him. They didn’t make us feel like we were in the hospital – they made it very homely, which is very important.
“The hospital is very important. If your child is ill it’s reassuring to go to the biggest and best specialist hospital in Wales. It’s amazing, you don’t have to leave the country to get the best care. It is very much needed.”
Ronald McDonald House Cardiff is a purpose-built house just a few moments from Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales with 30 ensuite bedrooms to provide free accommodation to families of children being treated at the hospital.
Cardiff & Vale Health Charity is the official charity of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.
They manage more than 300 funds for equipment, research, treatment and patient care so your donations can support work and projects that are over and above NHS funding.
If you would like to help support the work of the Children’s Hospital please contact one of the many great charities that help support our work.