N&N Hospitals Charity Champions 2023 announced

The N&N Hospitals Charity has announced the winners of the 2023 Charity Champions awards.

The winners were announced at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and can be viewed on our Youtube channel.

This year has, once again, seen countless examples of individuals, teams and businesses raising money for the N&N Hospitals Charity. As a result, choosing the winners for our 2023 Charity Champions Awards was a difficult task for our judging panel. The annual award programme seeks to thank members of our community, including schools, young people, businesses and members of staff for going over and above in support of our hospitals in their own unique way.

Inspiration Award: Louisa Dye who walked 500 miles for cancer services at the Trust in memory of her parents Stuart Clarke, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2006 and mother, Christine, who died after being diagnosed with breast cancer and its secondaries in 2021. With a good luck message from Scottish music duo The Proclaimers, Louisa battled shin splints, blisters and every imaginable weather conditions to raise some £8,000 for the oncology department at the N&N.

Young Persons Award: 8th Norwich Sea Scouts (Cubs Section) who raised almost £1,000 for the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital from their bob-a-job week. The almost 100 Cubs voted to support our charity and carried out jobs for family and friends throughout the summer term to celebrate their Centenary year.

Director’s Award: Chris Johnson who completed the London Landmarks Half Marathon in 2022, and the Paris and London Marathons in 2023. Chris has raised close to £3,000 for the Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal, inspired by his wife Gemma’s breast cancer diagnosis in 2020. Gemma works at the Breast Screening department at the N&N so knows first hand the impact breast cancer has on both the individual and families. Chris has already signed up for the Brighton and Berlin Marathons in 2024, with continued support for Boudicca.

Community Award: The residents at Doughty’s continue their long-standing support for our Charity. Our staff and patients are always grateful to receive the knitted items, the tubs of chocolates at Christmas, and donations to the Trust’s food bank.

Corporate AwardRoys of Wroxham for supporting our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Thanks to store customers and staff, Roys raised a fantastic £9,632 during 2022, after selecting the charity to receive proceeds from the sales of plastic carrier bags.

Schools AwardNorwich School raised a fantastic £3,000 for our Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal. The money was raised through events organised during the school’s Lent term, such as the Lent Tern Dinner, organised by the pupil-led Charity Committee.

The AGM also heard about a fundraising campaign to improve stroke services for patients living in Norfolk and Waveney.

Our stroke and radiology teams are in the advanced stages of launching a mechanical thrombectomy service at NNUH, which has been described as a “game changer” for stroke and involves the removal of a clot from the blood vessel using catheters (small tubes) inserted from the patient’s leg into the brain.

We have received approval and some funding from NHS England to offer mechanical thrombectomy at our Trust, which represents a major expansion for our Neurosciences services.

Mechanical thrombectomy is proven to reduce the risk of long-term disability with the majority of patients being able to live independent lives in their own homes following thrombectomy.

Stroke Consultant Joyce Balami, who has worked at NNUH for the last ten years, said: “We know that stroke is a leading cause of disability and an enormous economic burden to individuals and society. Worldwide, 15 million people are affected by stroke and at NNUH, we have 1,200 admissions a year.”

“We know that with stroke for every minute that passes without treatment, two million brain cells are at risk of dying and a third of patients who have a stroke are permanently disabled and need long-term care.”

The recognised treatment for strokes is using clot busting medication to dissolve clots and return blood flow in the brain, but if this is in the main pipe in the brain, clot busting treatment may not dissolve the blood clot.

Dr Balami added: “Thrombectomy is a game changer for stroke treatment and will significantly reduce disability, reduce length of stay in hospital and the amount of therapy required. 94% of patients who have thrombectomy are discharged back to their own home and do not require a community or care home bed.”

There are currently 24 specialist neurosciences centres in England resourced with the latest equipment and skilled staff to carry out mechanical thrombectomy.

We have the stroke team at NNUH to identify suitable patients and the radiology team to carry out imaging scans of the head. The next step is training and bringing in interventional neuroradiologists to NNUH and carrying out building work on level 3 of the hospital to get the service ready and running by the end of 2024.

Fundraising for additional equipment by the N&N Hospitals Charity and Neurosciences team to prepare for the service at NNUH is taking place.

This is for the expansion of neurosciences at the Trust and to help our doctors, nurses, therapists and outreach teams with the latest technology, medical equipment and training so that they can provide even better care for Norfolk patients.

To support the appeal, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/neuroscience

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