Stars Appeal says big ‘thank you’ to supporters as it reflects on 2022

We want to say a big thank you to our supporters after a fantastic 2022 during which more than £1million has been raised – funding projects benefiting tens of thousands of patients, families and the NHS staff who care for them.

Highlights during the year for us have included the official opening of the Beatrice Birth Centre. This, along with a new courtyard garden and Maternity Department reception building, were made possible thanks to a £260,000 contribution from the charity.

Run by midwives, the new birth centre offers an alternative to a traditional labour ward or home birth and provides spacious delivery rooms with birthing pools as well as Bluetooth enabled TV screens and adjustable multi-coloured mood lighting.

And £25,000 has funded the construction of two additional ‘mother and baby’ rooms on the Neonatal Unit.

The rooms have increased the capacity of Stars Appeal’s parents’ accommodation to 14 bed spaces, so there is now room for every mum whose baby has been born prematurely or critically ill, to stay by their side.

Kelsey Roberts, from Larkhill, whose son Keemari was born nine weeks early, stayed in one of the new rooms.

Kelsey Roberts said: “Being here with him all the time, monitoring him and seeing that he’s okay is a great relief for me. I’m forever grateful.”

We have also invested £75,000 in 63 additional vital signs monitors. This has doubled the amount of these monitors available across the Hospital’s wards, enhancing care for patients and helping staff work more efficiently.

The Stars Appeal has provided support for cancer patients including the dedicated breast unit, free aromatherapy and swimming sessions, headwear and wigs, prehabilitation, and free drinks and snacks for those undergoing chemotherapy treatment on the Pembroke Suite.

Donations also fund enhancements to the Children’s Ward to make it a more friendly environment and support a dedicated play worker as well as accommodation for parents.

New equipment purchased has included a paediatric eye autorefractor, which enables some children to have their sight tested in seconds without the need for invasive procedures, as well as additions to the ward’s multisensory room.

Our projects make a difference to children like Florence Burgess, aged 12, from Maiden Bradley, near Warminster, who has previously experienced long stays on the Hospital’s Children’s Ward while being treated for a rare form of leukaemia.

Florence Burgess said: “As you can imagine staying in hospital for such a long time is not great and because my immunity system was so low, I was mostly confined to my room which made it very boring. But the Stars Appeal certainly made things easier.

“My room was decorated with vibrant colours and pictures on the wall, the bathroom even had multi-coloured LED lights which were very cool. There was a play lady who would bring me lots of things to do like arts and crafts stuff.”

“There was free Wi-Fi so I could play games, stream movies and Facetime friends and family,” continues Florence, who parents were also able to stay with her in Stars Appeal accommodation.

“All of this was provided by the Stars Appeal so I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supports the charity for helping me and my family.”

Other projects funded by the Stars Appeal during 2022 include:

  • Hospital chaplaincy service
  • Dedicated bereavement midwife
  • Refurbishment of the Medical Engineering Department
  • Music and arts therapy
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Toiletry packs and clothing for those who arrive in hospital in an emergency
  • Support for staff including a counsellor
  • Enhancing the Medical Surgical Outpatients Department

Consultant Surgeon at Salisbury District Hospital and Chair of the Stars Appeal Clinical Ambassadors Mr Graham Branagan said: “We are so proud to have been able to fund all of this life changing work and much, much more during 2022.

“It is making a huge difference to patients and their families, and staff here at the Hospital. But none of it would be possible without the generosity of those who so kindly donate, fundraise and leave gifts in their Wills for our Hospital Charity, the Stars Appeal. I would like to thank everyone who supports us and wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year.”

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