Sheffield Children's Hospital staff are 'heroes' says new chief of city charity
The new head of The Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity says the cause is at the ‘centre’ of the city community – and hailed hospital staff as ‘heroes.’
John Armstrong became the CEO of the charity in July following David Vernon-Edwards’ departure after almost 20 years.
He previously worked as the director of philanthropy at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, and in higher education as a fundraiser before that.
He said: “Sheffield Children’s Hospital is a great hospital, a great place to work with great charity projects happening. I want to build on the strong foundation that David left to grow the charity so that we can continue to support the hospital, upgrade facilities and to help them continue to deliver the outstanding care that they do.
“Our main priority is the ward six oncology unit - we are raising £2.75 million for that. I am hoping that the Bears of Sheffield trail will help.
“In total £610,000 was raised by Herd of Sheffield (in 2016) - we want to meet or exceed that with the Bears.
"We also have the helipad appeal - a lot of patients will benefit from this. “There is a lad called Bradley who had major trauma and multiple fractures from a car crash. He needed a helicopter which needed to land on Weston Park. Staff then have to clear people from the park to land it. The helipad appeal is to put a helipad on the roof above the A&E.
"My heart has always been in fundraising for causes.”
John also stressed the impact that smaller initiatives, such as art workshops and funding play equipment, from the charity have.
He said: “One of the things we are doing is staff culture club - supporting staff on Zoom and Teams through arts and cultural activities to keep morale high. It’s been a busy year and we need to support staff in the hospital. The staff at SCH are heroes.”
John appreciates the scale of the role he has taken on.
He added: “Sheffield Children’s Hospital is important because it is the centre of the community. Sheffield and the region is lucky to have it.”