We are delighted to update you with some good news after a challenging 2020. Our £5.5m campaign to create the intra-operative MRI suite at Southampton Children’s Hospital was in its early stages when the pandemic hit. As a long-term major capital project, fundraising has been deeply affected, to an even greater extent than the charity sector average.

After the Government wiped clean NHS deficits, we were keen to explore whether University Hospital Southampton may be able to reprioritise more of their capital budget to this project, so the charitable contribution could reduce and funds donated have greater impact. We firmly believe charitable funds should enhance what can be achieved in the NHS through statutory funding.

The hospital team has worked collaboratively with us to ensure this cutting edge facility can be created to advance the exceptional work of the neurosurgeons and help save more lives. They conducted a full review of project costs and negotiated brilliantly with suppliers who have become far more supportive. The result is that total costs have reduced from £8.5m to £6.9m. Furthermore, we are delighted that the hospital has been able to significantly increase their commitment to £4.8m.

This now means that our fundraising campaign now has a new target of £2.1m which will fund the 1.5T scanner, advanced neuro software, patient transfer system and specialist intra-operative equipment. It will also fund artwork and distraction kit in the bed-wait area to create a calm space where families can hold each other close as their child is prepared for surgery, a space which makes everything feel a little less terrifying. The total raised to date stands at £300,000.

With continuing challenges ahead for fundraising, this means our campaign is in a stronger position within a difficult funding environment. Furthermore, statutory funding will now provide the majority of the financial requirement, enabling your donation to be directed towards the most cutting edge elements of the project.

We start 2021 with renewed vigour after such a positive outcome from our discussions with University Hospital Southampton

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