I grew up a mile away from Alder Hey Hospital.
I don’t think there’s a family in Liverpool, or north Wales, or the north west, that hasn’t been touched in some way at some time by the children’s charity.
When I saw that the hospital was looking for bloggers who would work with them in promoting their work it was impossible for me to ignore. It has given so much to my life and to the city, I had to give something back.
The new hospital was needed as the old building just didn’t have the space or the facilities for modern treatments. Plus it’s so much more welcoming and inviting. I went just after Christmas to visit my friend Jess who works at the hospital for the fundraising team. She was back at work so we met for a coffee and I got to have a look at the new building. It’s bright and airy. It doesn’t feel scary. It’s a lot different to the small reception rooms and sterile corridors I remember visiting as a kid.
But even though the hospital is open, there is still more work to come.
Now the hospital is on to its next phase of developing a research centre called the Institute in the Park. The centre is focused on developing medicines specifically for children and young people.
The project is working in conjunction with the University of Liverpool – my old university.
But while this all sounds very specific to one small area of Liverpool, the implications of what the hospital can achieve will be felt all around the UK and beyond. There will be over 100 members of staff working at the Institute, and there will be facilities the likes of which aren’t seen anywhere else in UK. Or even Europe.
The first phase of the project is opening up this month, but the second phase is still yet to come. That requires more support and more fund-raising to make this world-class facility a reality.
This whole scheme is so close to my heart it’s hard for me to do anything but provide support in whatever way I can.
I really hope this will be only the first time I can provide my voice to support this amazing charity.