£300k raised in one day as Time for a Change appeal launched.

18 May 2022
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Last Saturday we publicly launched our new children’s appeal, Time for a Change, on Saturday 14 May at, and in partnership with, AFC Wimbledon. It was a fantastic success thanks to everyone who helped to make it happen.

The day kicked off with a special charity football match with the Dons legends and our wonderful volunteer bucket collectors outside the stadium. For the match, we were fortunate enough to have DJ Harvey, formerly of So Solid Crew among the players, alongside our host for the evening, ITV Racing presenter Oli Bell.

While the match was underway,  Charity staff and volunteers were finalising preparations for the evening's proceedings. We started with a drinks reception sponsored by Centre Court Shopping, with entertainment provided by the Panash Steel Orchestra.

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The guests were then led upstairs by walking drummers from the Orchestra in a conga-style procession upstairs to the main dining hall for the gala dinner. There they were welcomed by the St George’s University Bhangra dance group. Once the nearly 300 guests were seated we had welcome speeches from Ivor Heller, the Commercial Director from AFC Wimbledon and Amerjit Chohan, Chief Executive of the Charity.

Amerjit talked about the role of the Charity and launched the brand-new appeal film that the Charity had created with thanks to Dr Nick Prince, matrons Tania Haughton and Martin Makato and nurse Ashleigh Hegan for their participation. Extra special thanks go out to our parent case studies, Jay Patel and Emma van Klaveren Finley, for their poignant and very personal experiences of their time with their precious little ones on the wards and in PICU. This was warmly received. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here:

Once the main courses were cleared, Dr Sijo Francis, Clinical Director for Paediatrics, gave an impassioned speech about what the appeal was for and what it would mean to the staff and patients. He was followed by parent, Emma who gave a detailed account of their journey highlighting the magnificent care and support of the staff at St George’s in contrast to the “dull and lifeless" surroundings of the wards. There was hardly a dry eye in the room. Emma took the opportunity to call all the St George’s staff present onto the stage where they received a standing ovation.

It was after dessert that Ivor took on the unenviable role of auctioneer for the Charity and to his credit, he commanded the attention and respect of everyone. His humour and passion for the cause were all too evident as he willed the guests to outbid each other, reminding them of the need to dig deep for this worthy cause.

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Once the silent auction was closed and winners announced, the party started. There was dancing and general merriment as Ivor revealed that early counting had shown the Charity had raised over £200,000.

The Time for a Change appeal launch day raised over £300,000 – a whopping result and a great start. But there’s a lot of ground to cover yet to reach our target of £5 million.

Ivor Heller, Commercial Director at AFC Wimbledon'said: “When we built our stadium it was a real priority for it to be an asset for the community. Though the football will always be our bread and butter, supporting vital local causes is of paramount importance.

"I’ve benefited from the wonderful care provided by St George’s Hospital staff and so too have many of our supporters. To help raise this amoThank youhe Time for a Change appeal makes me and the Club extremely proud. Thank-you to all those who helped us to stage this event.”

Sarah McCullough, Director of Fundraising at St George’s, said: “Our sincerest thanks to AFC Wimbledon for their unfailing support throughout. It was wonderful to see the Club’s fans supporting and getting involved with our appeal, Time for a Change.

"We couldn’t have asked for a better start to raising the much-needed funds for our appeal. Our care is outstanding, but our facilities are not. With everyone’s help we know we can transform children’s services at St George’s.”

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Amerjit Chohan, Chief Executive of St George’s Hospital Charity, commented: “The launch event was a great success and our sincerest thanks to AFC Wimbledon for partnering with us and for hosting our launch events.

"It was wonderful to see the Club’s fans, supporters and stakeholders getting behind our appeal, Time for a Change. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to raising the much-needed funds for our appeal.

Our teams have many ways that you can get involved, including becoming a Time for a Change Champion. All you need to do is pledge to raise or give £5,000 to help us transform children’s services.

Join on your own or as part of your team or ward. You will be accompanied by 99 other champions who are committed to achieving something incredible. We are looking for 100 Champions, so that together we can improve the experience for the thousands of children St George’s cares for every year.

Become a Champion

 

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