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Fundraising campaign for Cambridge Children’s Hospital project passes halfway mark

Business / Sat 20th Jan 2024 at 01:48pm

THE Fundraising Campaign to build a ground-breaking 35,000sqm children’s hospital in Cambridge has passed the halfway mark of its £100m target, reaching over £56m in pledges and gifts secured. The pioneering hospital will be the first hospital truly designed to bring together the treatment of mental and physical health. With an embedded University of Cambridge research institute, the hospital is expected to have a regional, national and global impact. 

The news of the fundraising milestone comes soon after the project’s Outline Business Case was given approval in principle by the government. As a result, pre-construction works are due to begin on the site of the new hospital early next year, with full construction due to start in 2025.

Launched just two years ago, the fundraising Campaign is a partnership between Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, Head to Toe Charity and the University of Cambridge, and is co-chaired by Dame Mary Archer, formerly Chair of Cambridge University Hospitals, and Majid Jafar, a Cambridge alumnus and supporter of medical research.

The Campaign is anchored by a cornerstone commitment totalling £20 million from Majid and Lynn Jafar and the wider Jafar family. 

Majid and Lynn were inspired to give to the Campaign by their experiences with their daughter who suffers from a rare neurogenetic disorder, and £10m of their gift will be dedicated to the research institute within the new hospital. 

More than 40 donors have committed major gifts to support the Campaign during the early stages of this project, including: The Julius Jones Trust, The Thompson Family Charitable Trust, The Yusuf and Farida Hamied Foundation, The Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, Lord Archer and Dame Mary Archer, Matchroom Charitable Foundation, Jerry Rowitch, the 2022 Gala Committee, Essex Glitter Ball Committee and many more.

This generous show of philanthropy has been buoyed by contributions from a wider community of supporters, with many choosing to give due to their own lived experience or deep personal connections to children’s healthcare.

Dame Mary Archer, Co-Chair of the Cambridge Children’s Hospital Fundraising Campaign, said:

“Our grateful thanks to all the amazing donors and supporters for their vision and generosity, which have brought us to this important campaign milestone. We still have a long way to go but I am just delighted for everyone who has been championing this project over the last few years that we are now at this exciting point. Cambridge Children’s Hospital has been a long time in the making, so this is a huge moment for the 1.5 million children and young people in our region.”

Majid Jafar, Co-Chair of the Cambridge Children’s Hospital Fundraising Campaign and cornerstone donor, said:

“We are delighted to support this wonderful project. Having lived the experience of a child with a serious and life-long condition, my wife and I believe deeply in the power of research to make a difference in the lives of such children and their families. Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be unique in having an embedded Cambridge University research institute, and promises to transform children’s health worldwide by accelerating new treatments from bench to bedside.”

Cambridge Children’s Hospital will be the first specialist children’s hospital for the East of England, the only NHS region without one. It will also be the first hospital truly designed to treat mental and physical health together, with integrated wards, single occupancy bedrooms, access to gardens and terraces, and a school.

The hospital will be a national exemplar, delivering game-changing advances in life sciences research via the six research centres in the Cambridge Children’s Research Institute. Focusing on early detection and preventative medicine, the hospital will detect disease early or prevent it altogether, personalise health care and deliver it closer to home for children and young people across the East of England.  

The new hospital will be built on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, at the heart of Europe’s largest life-sciences cluster. The unique density and co-location of research institutes, industry and health care delivery here will enable collaborations that ensure discoveries made at the research institute will transform diagnosis and become routine treatments for young patients in years to come. 

Co-Chair of the Cambridge Children’s Hospital Joint Strategic Board and Chief Executive of Cambridge University Hospitals, Roland Sinker, said: “It has been fantastic to work with the Campaign Board on the fundraising Campaign. The Campaign’s £100m target makes Cambridge Children’s Hospital one of the most philanthropically ambitious capital projects of this nature in the country today. Their success has been instrumental in helping get the project to this point and reflects the widespread support for our vision of integrated mental and physical health care informed by research.”

The University’s Regius Professor of Physic, Professor Patrick Maxwell, is also delighted with the progress for the Cambridge Children’s Hospital’s fundraising campaign and said: “The partnership between Cambridge University Hospitals and the University is exceptionally strong and we look forward to together realising this important new paediatric hospital. Research carried out within its walls will impact on the health of children both in Cambridge and surrounding regions, as well as around the world. We are excited and look forward to further support to achieve the £100 million target.”  

As the Campaign reaches the halfway mark it will now look ahead towards the next phase, where there will be more opportunities for those in the East of England community the hospital will serve, as well as UK and international supporters, to get involved through their own fundraising events.  

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