As those who keep a close eye on our site will know, AC Services (Southern) has been heavily involved with the Bristol Children’s Hospital’s Grand Appeal. Last year we sponsored a Gromit to raise money for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and St Michael’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Special Care Baby Unit) at St Michael’s Hospital.
And this week, there is cause for celebrations and hearty congratulations all round!
Million Dollar Babies
The news has come through that the current overall fundraising total stands at a staggering £27 million thanks in part to the Gromit Unleashed project, which alone raised a phenomenal £3.8 million for the cause. To put this into the context of amazing achievements, during an average year the Grand Appeal, which has been operating since 1995, normally raises around £1 million. The princely sum of £3.8 million was raised in just 18 months!
£2.3 million was raised through auctioning 92 Gromits of varying sizes, which were created by local artists, designers and celebrities. This of course, included AC Services very own creation, Dog Rose, lovingly created by Ros Franklin!
For 16 days last summer, Bristol was taken over by fans of this iconic and world-renowned canine, who incidentally (and not a lot of people know this), graduated from Dogwarts University with a double first in Engineering for Dogs.
The other £1.5m came from events, such as the Gromit Unleashed trail, with 1.18 million people alone visiting the Gromit Unleashed trail and exhibition this summer. 42% came from around the UK reflecting the support of a nation in a worthy cause.
The funds raised have gone to finance a new intraoperative MRI scanner, only the second of its kind in the UK, and one of just a handful in Europe. With the capacity to scan patients in the operating room in real-time, the state-of-the-art equipment will revolutionise surgery for sick children.
Michael Carter, consultant neurosurgeon at the hospital, said that the scanner will allow his team to operate on tiny areas of the brain. He said: “The machine gives us image guidance capacity. At the moment, we have to bring patients round, re-scan them, and then they have another operation . Now we can do it all in one operation. The more complete removal of tumours will increase survival rates.”
The amount raised has spurred organisers to aim for higher with a second phase of the appeal aimed at raising a further £1.2m for life saving equipment and family oriented services at the hospital.
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal was established in 1995 and has since raised over £27 million to support a wide range of life-saving medical equipment, family accommodation, and patient comforts, along with a programme of arts, music, education and play facilities in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
AC Services are delighted to have been able to help this worthy cause through sponsoring a Gromit in 2013.