Insurance staff touched by childhood illness raise £25,000 for children's hospital

An insurance firm has raised £25,000 for Sheffield Children's Hospital as a thank you for the care given to staff members’ children over several decades.

Louisa Edwards, Jon Rhinow, Nick Birley, Bernard Tomlinson and Andrew Needham of Peter Hoare & Co.

The money is enough to sponsor a private room in the new wing, which will include ensuite facilities, comfortable surroundings and a proper parent bed so families can be together at the most difficult times.

The funds were handed over by the chairman of Peter Hoare & Co, Bernard Tomlinson, to the hospital charity as part of it Make It Better appeal, which aims to raise £20m to refurbish the hospital.

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Mr Tomlinson said: “It is incredible to think that families coming from all over the country to get treatment for their children will be able to do so in these new surroundings. We are very

proud as a company to be able to fund this room.”

Mr Tomlinson has supported the charity for many years, after his baby daughter died aged just 11 months old in 1981. Emily was diagnosed with a tumour behind her bladder and after

initially responding to chemotherapy treatment she passed away in hospital.

Two years after Emily was born, Bernard had another daughter – Louisa – who now works for the company and herself nearly lost her daughter, Evie.

She said: “She was five weeks old when she was rushed to hospital with supraventricular tachycardia. That Night we were told to expect the worst and to say our goodbyes. We were told that even if she did survive the night she was unlikely to survive long as she may have severe brain damage.

"Her heart had to be restarted four times. It was just a complete shock.”

Evie was in hospital for over a week under constant heart monitoring, before being sent home. She is now a happy four-year-old who has just started school at Hallam Primary school.

Speaking of his granddaughter, Mr Tomlinson added: “The whole situation could have been just 30 years earlier, walking up the same staircase, through the same halls. It brought it all back for us, and we thought we were going to lose her.

“We feel we have to give something back – the hospital looked after us and not just us, there are so many members of staff here who have used it through the years.”

The team launched their £25,000 room sponsorship fundraising drive in 2012, and raised the final pounds just this month after sponsoring a snowflake for the forthcoming Christmas

lights display at the hospital.

Emma Dove, corporate fundraiser at The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “It is so moving that this company – with so many personal connections to our hospital – have given this gift

for our patients.

"The new wing will bring world-class facilities to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, benefitting young children who come from all over the UK and the world for our specialist

care.”

For more information on The Children’s Hospital Charity, please visit www.tchc.org.uk