Check out our Facebook page daily updates!
Kayleigh Ball and some of her family,Elisha and Christine, presented an incredible donation of £1,000 to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Her Nephew, Brandon, sadly passed away at just a few days old, but the family were touched by the care they received in the Neonatal Unit and decided to do something special in the boy’s name, to mark what would have been his 21st birthday today.
The family put on a family fun day, raffle, and even dared to abseil the Spinnaker Tower in Brandon's legacy, which will be felt long into the future thanks for the equipment this donation will enable us to provide.
As part of Urology Week, the Urology Department and a team of volunteers held a stall in the Main Atrium at QA to raise awareness of Urological conditions, in particular bladder cancer.
Now that the Rocky Appeal has ended with the completion of the £2.4 million Da Vinci Robot campaign, fundraisers who feel a close connection to the cause are raising money for an extra piece of equipment to use alongside the robot- a £5,000 mini laser to help treat tumors.
Portsmouth HospitalsCEO MarkCubbon and Urology Consultant Richard Robinson met with bladder cancer awareness campaigner ColinWelborn, who handed over a cheque for £1,000, kindly given by the William Brake Charitable Trust. Thank you to everyone involved!
Colin’s daughter Jess will be running across 3 countries in a marathon to also help raise funds for the laser. Why not sponsor Jess at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jess3countries
Get the facts on Bladder Cancer at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bladder-cancer/
Victoria Greenshields, Fundraising Manager for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity and Tracey Thomas, Senior Sister for the Children’s Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital trekked the Great Wall of China, in a bid to raise thousands for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity’s Children’s Bubbles Fund.
The Children’s Bubbles Fund raises money for the Children’s Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital. The funds raised from the trek will go towards additional equipment and facilities that are above and beyond the everyday items that the Children’s Department need. These extras are to enhance a child’s experience whilst in hospital, and help make what is a very scary and unsettling time, a little bit nicer, more comfortable and a calming experience for them.
The Department sees more than 20,000 children a year and treat children from a few days old up to 16 years old. The staff in the Department do such amazing work and save lives daily; and for this, Victoria and Tracey want to give a little something back.
The week-long challenge tackled a series of vigorous upwards climbs and over 10,000 relentless steps, following the winding path along the Yan Mountains.
Victoria Greenshields described the challenge and why she took part in the Trek. She says, “To begin with, fundraising was the most daunting part of our Great Wall of China challenge, as we initially set a target to raise a combined amount of £6,000. To achieve this, Tracey and I have been preparing for this trek since January this year. We started off with holding regular bake sales, and a car boot sale. We then held an afternoon tea event with live music and a raffle, which raised a fantastic amount and was a great day. I am incredibly proud of us both and thankful for the generosity and support from friends, family and work colleagues.
After the trek, Victoria commented: " It was very challenging, steep and rocky at times. We thought about everyone who sponsored us and the difference we are making to children being treated at QA Hospital. We really enjoyed every minute of it! "
So far the duo have raised an amazing £10,033, smashing their target of £6,000
If you would like to donate towards the Children’s Bubbles Fund and help benefit the lives of many local children, please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/TeamBubbles
Thank you to Different Travel for organising this event.
JESS RUNS THREE COUNTRIES MARATHON TO RAISE MONEY FOR LIFE SAVING KIT
On the 7th October, Jess Welborn from Petersfield took part in a three countries, one marathon challenge in order to raise money for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity, based at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham. The money raised will purchase an important piece of equipment called the Leonardo Mini Laser, which will enable surgeons to remove tumours.
Jess ran the 'SPARKASSE 3-Länder-Marathon', which route crosses through Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
Jess decided to take part in this amazing challenge, after her father Colin received lifesaving treatment from the Urology Department at QA Hospital.
Jess’s father Colin Welborn said, “I have been treated in the Urology Department for nearly 18 months, and I expect them to be an active part of my life for the next four to five years. The Urology Team are truly amazing, and have made me feel like I am part of that team, almost family. They have kept me alive since identifying my aggressive, untreatable bladder cancer. I am one of many cancer patients they regularly treat, but the Team treat us as individuals.
This is why Jess and I want to help purchase the mini laser which will allow them to treat more people, especially those who might not be suitable for major surgery. This kit will make a difference from the moment it is purchased. I am so proud of Jess for raising money for this equipment and for showing her commitment by training for the marathon."
Jess said, “I want to thank the QA Hospital for everything that they have done for my father, and I hope that this sponsored marathon will go some way to doing that. If we can raise the £5,000 then this mini-laser can be purchased, and it can be used by the hospital to save lives. It feels like two challenges; training for and running the marathon; and then the challenge of raising the funds. I have been so touched by the support to date, and would appreciate any donations in order for us to reach the target."
Richard Robinson, Consultant for Surgery and Cancer said, “We are extremely grateful to Colin and his daughter Jessica for their ongoing support of the work we do in the Urology Department. The Laser that Jessica’s marathon supports will allow us to treat bladder cancers in the Outpatient Department. This will enable us to provide patients with rapid access to cancer treatment, particularly for our most frail patients, avoiding the need for surgery in the operating theatre.
To donate towards the mini laser, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jess3countries
£10,000 TARGET REACHED FOR MAGIC FLOOR IN CHILDREN'S EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT
After just a year of fundraising we are delighted to announce that the Children’s Emergency Department at QA have successfully met their £10,000 goal for a Magic Floor!
Any emergency trip to hospital can be an anxious time. The Magic Floor, now up and running, helps to calm children and families by creating a fun and immersive environment. The equipment projects high quality images and games onto walls, flooring or a bed where they can be playedwith, regardless of physical ability.
This in turn helps clinicians to diagnose and treat young patients in a more fun and relaxed way. On top of that, it’s entirely portable!
We would like to highlight the fundraising efforts of Children’s ED staff, Zoe, Claire, Nicole and Abby, who steered the campaign and put in a lot of voluntary time to raise the funds.
To those who donated, thank you, we would not have this Magic Floor without you.
ZOMBIE ENCOUNTER RAISES OVER £1,100 FOR CHILDREN AT QA
Back in June, the amazing Portsmouth Comic Con took place at Port Solent.
Alongside awesome costumes, stalls and comic themed delicacies, there was a thrilling zombie experience, where willing zombie enthusiasts entered a maze full of the undead and had to work together with strangers to get out.
Every penny from this incredible experience was donated by GoGeek Events to the Children's Bubbles Fund at QA Hospital, a total of £1,156.86!...
At the Bubbles Summer Fayre last weekend, GoGeek presented the cheque to Children's Department staff Jane and Lynda, who both volunteered to run the zombie experience in their own time.
GoGeek have been incredibly supportive of our children's wards for many years, such as visiting in costume at Christmas time to bring fun and wonder to young patients.
The funds they and Port Solent have donated will go towards better equipment and facilities for children and their families, such as extra monitors and making the department a more child-friendly place.
SKYDIVING FOR CARDIOLOGY AND CANCER TO HELP PEOPLE TREATED LOCALLY
Sam and her mum, Marion braved the Portsmouth Hospitals Charity Skydive for the Cardiology and Cancer Services funds at @Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, raising £1,066.96!
Sam said: "The skydive was the most amazing thing. I was a wreck going up, but as soon as I got on the ground I asked the instructor how I can learn to do it again by myself!"
The pair chose to support cancer and heart care as their loved ones, though not treated at QA, have been affected by conditions of... these areas. They described that national charities get a lot of attention, but it is also important to support those who directly care for local people.
Thank you Sam and Marion!
WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT TO SUPPORT NICU AT QA
When it comes to burpees no one does it quite like The Burpee Guy- Craig Peters.
This summer, Craig is taking this full-body exercise to the next level by attempting to break the world record for the most burpees in 24 hours (the current record stands at 10,110), all whilst raising money for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Back in 2014 his wife, Kyrie, was carrying their identical twin boys when the couple were given the scary news that the babies had Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS), which occurs in around 10 percent of all multiple pregnancies. It is a condition in which bloodflow and nutrients to the two babies is not equal, meaning one grows too quickly, and the other risks not developing enough. Both scenarios put the babies under a lot of stress and causes risk to their lives.
Craig and his wife Kyrie feel indebted to the staff in NICU for the care and love they gave to their boys who weighed just 1lbs 8oz at birth in 2014, so this challenge is not only a personal one for Craig, but also a helping hand for local newborns and their families.
Craig said: “It was a life-changing period for our family; one that challenges you and shapes you as a person for the rest of your life. It’s worth putting my mind and body on the line knowing that we will raise money which will go towards saving more premature babies and keeping families together.”
The 2018 attempt is set to take place at The Gym Hub, Worthing, from 2pm on Saturday 28th July through to 2pm Sunday 29th July.
If you would like to support Craig in his mammoth task, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theburpeeguy1
UPDATE: Due to unforseen circumstances this event has now been rescheduled for August 9th-10th.
HEALTH ENGINEERING COMPANY SUPPORTS PORTSMOUTH HOSPITALS FOR 75TH ANNIVERSARY
To celebrate their 75th anniversary, The Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM), based in Southsea have chosen Queen Alexandra Hospital’s charity as their 2018 chosen charity of the year.
Portsmouth Hospitals Charity, based at QA Hospital aims to support the patients of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust by improving existing facilities and by providing additional equipment, supporting research programmes and innovation in the development of services and education to both patients and staff.
The charity supports all of the Wards and Departments across the Trust and supporters can choose to fundraise for an area of the hospital that is close to their heart.
Kate Newman, Project Support Officer for IHEEM describes why her company have chosen to support Portsmouth Hospitals Charity. She said, “
Victoria Greenshields, Fundraising Manager for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity said, “We are hugely grateful for the support from IHEEM. Their fundraising will make a difference to the patients being treated within Queen Alexandra Hospital, and we look forward to working with them throughout the year.”
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WALK FOR CANCER SERVICES AT QA
Hannah and her Daughter Ella Goodacre have raised an amazing £1,538.12 for the Cancer Services Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.
Both Hannah and Ella raised the money by taking part in Portsmouth Hospitals Charity’s WardWalk event in May. They decided to raise money for the Cancer Services Department to say thank you after Hannah’s Father in Law, Barry, received great treatment there following his diagnosis of a fast growing type of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
The cheque was presented to Ruth Carter, Head of Cancer Services, Dani White, Matron for Haematology and Oncology and Heather Narey, the Unit Manager.
Ruth said, “Barry has been through a long treatment process to get to the point in his disease pathway where he is in remission. I would like to thank Barry and his family for raising this money and for highlighting the difference that the hospital team can make to the experience given to our patients following a life shattering diagnosis."
The Cancer Services team have decided with Barry to use the funds raised to help them with the 'End PJ Paralysis' project- a project which aims to get patients up, dressed and moving, reducing avoidable physical decline and changing their mentality from ‘I’m ill’ to one that says ‘I’m getting better’.
Thank you Hannah and Ella for their incredible support!
CUSTOM BLANKET DONATION BRIGHTENS HARRY'S DAY
Over the May bank holiday, one father, Eddie, undertook the UK’s toughest ultramarathon- all in aid of the Children’s Bubbles Fund at QA Hospital.
The Cape Wrath is a 250 mile race set over just 8 days on some of the roughest terrain in Scotland. Running an average of 31 miles a day and with a total elevation of 11,200 metres, the race follows the Cape Wrath Trail and finishes in the most north-westerly point of Scotland, Cape Wrath itself.
Joined by runners from 27 countries with an average age of 45, they all set off on the 20th May from Fort William. Despite extreme conditions due to the level of elevation they were running at and the hundreds of miles covered over harsh terrains each day, Eddie completed the ultramarathon, running just over half a marathon on the final day. 8 days later and 250 gruelling miles ran across the remote Scottish Highlands, Eddie crossed the finish line in Cape Wrath on the 27th May.
Speaking of his momentous accomplishment, Eddie explained
“I’d never run up a boulder field or through peat hags-nor in fact did I have any idea of what 11,200 metres of cumulative ascent, and then descent, would do to my shins!
We climbed up and down the equivalent of 1.25 Mt Everest’s or just over 8 Ben Nevis’s! I had to learn to love uphill and fear downhill by the end.”
The Starfish Ward, one of two children’s wards at QA Hospital, is close to Eddie’s heart, as well as his family’s due to the care they received for his son Oscar, now 3.5 years old, who was born with severe physical and intellectual disabilities. For this reason, Oscar and his family have spent a lot of time on Starfish Ward over the last few years. The Bubble Fund helps to pay for facilities for children and their families staying on the Children’s Department.
Eddie has raised over £4000 in donations for the Children’s Bubbles Fund and is so close to his target! To support Eddie and the Children’s Bubbles Fund at QA Hospital, you can donate here at Eddie’s JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/eddievincent
Mark Clark, aged just 57, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 and given 12-18 months to live.
Despite the difficulties he is facing, he took part in the Portsmouth Hospitals Charity Skydive on June 9 to give thanks for the support he has received from the Neurology Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Mark described his how his life has changed since he was diagnosed with a stage 4 tumour: “From that moment, my life was turned upside down and everything changed - I could no longer drive, ride or race my horse and I had to close down my blacksmith business I had been for 35 years and I was suddenly facing a bleak future.
Once the tumour was removed, I underwent 6 weeks of radiotherapy at QA and then 6 months of chemotherapy, during which time I had periods of seizures and frightening hallucinations but received wonderful support and help from the whole Oncology unit under Dr. Dubois.
My family (Wife Sally and 13 year old son) and good friends have been a great support to me during some very dark moments, but I am delighted that I can take part in the Charity Sky Dive and give back something to the National Health Service.”
Mark raised over £6000 for the Neurology Department to help them enhance services, facilities and research for all patients and staff within Neurology .
“I remain positive and keep very fit, working out at a local gym most days and walking Tarka, our 2 year old Labrador. A nurse once said to me "No one is born with a date stamp" and I'm nowhere near my ‘Sell By’ date yet. To all others who have any form of cancer, I say don't give up.”
If you would like to support Mark’s cause, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/markclarksskydive
The Neurology Fund resides within Portsmouth Hospitals Charity. The charity aims to support the patients of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust by improving existing facilities and by providing additional equipment, supporting research programmes and innovation in the development of services and education to both patients and staff.
The Fundraising Team at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham are asking the local community to take part in the Big7Tea to fundraise for a Ward or Department close to their heart.
The Big7Tea is on the 5th of July and is a national event to raise money for NHS hospital charities. It is an event to celebrate 70 years of the NHS and an opportunity to raise money for your local hospital.
Across the UK, people will be holding tea parties to celebrate, and Queen Alexandra Hospital’s Fundraising Team would love if the local community would choose Portsmouth Hospitals Charity to support.
Fundraising could include hosting a tea party or a street party with friends and family, or encouraging your work colleagues or local community to get together for some cake and a cup of tea.
Funds raised from your event, will be donated to a Ward or Department of your choice within Queen Alexandra Hospital.
To organise a Big7Tea event and to download a fundraising pack, visit the below link: http://www.porthosp.nhs.uk/get-involved/fundraising/nhs-big7tea-2.htm
For more information and to speak to a member of the Fundraising Team, please contact 02392 286000 Ext: 5190, firstname.lastname@example.org http://bit.ly/MOPRSTrolleyGiving
Pea and Tildy are in incredible duo who have really gone the extra mile to help the Children's Bubbles Fund here at QA.
In March, the pair set off on a kayaking race from Devizes to Westminster, stretching 125 miles and lasting four days. Unfortunately, after 50 miles the race was called off due to torrential conditions- but that didn't stop Pea and Tildy!
They vowed to finish the race later on their bikes on May 7, as the Children's Department at QA is a cause very close to... their hearts.
Their determination helped them raise a fantastic £1,265.37, smashing their £600 target.
Thank you so much to Pea and Tildy, whose donation will be used to help enhance equipment and resources within The Children's Department.
A fundraising Appeal which has brought the life-saving Da Vinci Robot to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, has reached its huge target of £2.4 million.
Thanks to everyone in the community who has raised money for this appeal and thanks to an anonymous donor for donating a sizeable amount, which has enabled the Rocky Appeal to reach its target. Without the support and generosity of our local community, the Appeal wouldn’t have been such a success.
Since the start of the Appeal, the Da Vinci Robot has performed over 1,000 surgeries.
The robot has revolutionised the surgical treatment for most cancers such as colorectal, prostrate and bladder. There is less collateral damage, lesser need for temporary or permanent stomas (colostomy), less need for blood transfusions and reduced pain. Early mobilisation and discharge allows cancer patients to get on with their next stage of the treatment and recover quickly.
To operate the robot, the surgeon sits in a console at the patient’s side. This enables more precise surgical techniques to be used, especially in small areas of the body such as the pelvis, head, neck and throat. Patients being admitted with a variety of cancers such as prostate, gynaecological, colorectal, kidney, bladder and head and neck, will benefit from having no major open surgery thus allowing for a much faster time and return to home and working life quicker.
Mark Cubbon, Chief Executive of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said, “We are absolutely delighted that the target has been reached, and I would personally like to thank everyone in the community who has supported, donated and given their time to help make this happen. We are humbled by the community support this appeal has received, and are hugely proud to keep robotic surgery here at QA, to ensure our patients can continue to benefit from this leading edge technology.”
Fundraising for the Da Vinci Robot began in 2014, and has since seen thousands of people taking part in fundraising events, or kindly organising their own fundraisers to contribute to the success of this appeal.
There are only 60 Da Vinci Robots currently in the UK. The nearest NHS Trust who has a Da Vinci Robot is Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
The Rocky Appeal is also excited to announce, that not only has the target been reached, but with the support from our ‘anonymous’ donor the hospital is also able to purchase an Omnitivity Telestration Solution.
An Omnitivity Telestration Solution is a teaching tool for robotic surgery, which is a device that connects to the robot. It enables the surgeons to teach students whilst using the robot and it enable surgeons to teach trainee surgeons remotely. It also enables the surgeon to broadcast and record surgical procedures live, so they can teach others wherever they are in the world.
This means –
Now the target has been reached, any additional funding donated will be put towards the Portsmouth Hospitals Charity.
Thanks to various fundraising events and the generous donations of Round Table members, an incredible £1,590.75 has been raised for the Neonatal Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
10 Clubs in the area of Hampshire rallied together to support the NICU because the Department was chosen as the charity of the year (2017) by Area 1 Chairman, Gary, after his daughter was cared for in the NICU for 4 weeks in 2014.
This kind donation will purchase an extra breathing monitor, as well as incubator handles to help staff move babies in a way which is more gentle for the babies and easier on nurses’ backs.
Thank you so much to the Round Table Great Britain and Ireland Association of Area 1!
If you are familiar with the Rocky Appeal Shop, you might have met Lorraine, one of our dedicated volunteers. As April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month, we would like to share her story...
“I have been a Rocky volunteer for 2 years after receiving my treatment for Bowel Cancer in June 2014. I would like people to know that if you think anything is different with your bowl function, go and get it checked!
I got tested as soon as I thought something was wrong not expecting it to be Cancer. I felt really well and looked well, had not lost any weight... It was a huge shock to receive the news that it was cancer and very scary, but I have to say from the day I was diagnosed the hospital were brilliant and got everything in place so quickly.
My family and I were so grateful for the care that I received at QA Hospital from Jim Khan and his robotic sugery team, as well as from Joel and Natalie my Stoma Nurses. We felt that we would like to help raise the funds for the Da Vinci Robot so that other people’s lives can be saved.
I organised a tribute night at Kingsley’s Bar, and went on to organise events such as a charity balls, clothes sales, bake sales and garden parties as a volunteer for The Rocky Appeal.” Lorraine has raised an incredible £10,554 for The Rocky Appeal so far to help others who need robotic surgery for conditions such as Bowel Cancer.
Click here for more information about bowel cancer: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bowel-cancer/
JESSE'S DREAMS DONATE £30,000 TO NICU
We would like to say a HUGE thank you to Robyn and Ryan Bendon, for donating an incredible £30,000 to Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Robyn and Ryan founded the charity Jesse's Dreams after their son Jesse was born at 23 weeks and 5 days.
To raise this generous amount, Robyn and Ryan organised a two day Wickham music festival, cake sales, a cabaret music night, auctions and the Hampshire Skinhead Association also raised money by getting a tattoo!
The funds will make a massive difference to the Unit and will buy a new incubator worth over £22K and breast milk warming machines worth over £7K. Robyn and Ryan will also purchase a roll of silk for the premature babies, as the babies must lay on silk to prevent bed sores on their fragile skin, and diaries.
Robyn and Ryan said, “Raising this amount for the Unit feels amazing. Losing Jesse was devastating, but knowing we can help save other babies means an enormous amount. We would like to say a huge thank you to every single person who has helped us fundraise, donated and supported us with Jesse's Dreams. The support from the NICU staff has been phenomenal.”
Joanne Church, Senior Sister on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit said, “This donation means so much to the Unit and will go a long way in helping the babies being looked after here. We are so thankful to Robyn and Ryan and for everyone who has contributed to the amount.”
SISTERS RAISE £1,200 FOR NEONATAL CARE AT QA
Two amazing sisters, Lisa and Emma, visited the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at QA Hospital today to hand over a cheque for an incredible £1,270!
They raised the funds through various raffles and tombolas throughout 2017 after Lisa and her baby daughter suffered pregnancy complications two years ago, which required them both to be in Intensive Care. Fortunately, they made a full recovery. Lisa and her family have been fundraising tirelessly ever since to thank NICU for their care.
Lisa said: “We’re so happy with the amount we’ve raised, we didn’t quite meet our target but we hope to come back with an even bigger cheque in 2018!It has been an amazing experience, and we’ve met a lot of people with a NICU story, it makes you realise just how many lives are affected by the work of the staff here. It’s great being able to see the money making a difference to the babies here.”The sisters met NICU Senior Sister Gail Simpson, who thanked them for their outstanding support and explained how their money will benefit its patients; helping to provide extra vital equipment such as breathing monitors, gel pillows and milk bottle warmers.
Thank you Lisa and Emma!
QA STAFF TO TREK GREAT WALL OF CHINA FOR CHILDREN'S DEPARTMENT
Fundraising Manager Victoria Greenshields and Paediatrics Senior Sister Tracey Thomas will trek part of the iconic Great Wall to raise thousands of pounds for the Children's Bubbles Fund. Sponsor them here! Why not join them on this trip of a lifetime and support your own department? Find out more at: http://bit.ly/chinaphc
PORTSMOUTH METAL RECYCLING COMPANY DONATE TO CHILDRENS WARDS AT QA
Staff at EMR, a global metal recycling company, have raised more than £500 for the paediatric department at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
Customers at EMR’s site in Dundas Spur, Portsmouth were invited to correctly guess the weight of a 1,250 kilogramme bale of scrap metal. The winner received a £250 Love2shop voucher.
The proceeds from the competition have been donated to The Children’s Bubbles Fund, which supports the paediatric department at Queen Alexandra Hospital by raising money to purchase vital equipment to enhance the treatment of patients in their care. The department has already been able to invest in a Blood Gas Analyser from donations received within the first four months of setting up the fund, helping to improve the diagnosis and treatment of sick children. The Children’s Bubble Fund has a fundraising target of £100,000 and is currently a third of the way towards reaching the overall target.
When Rosie and Paul's daughter was born in February 2017, she was 13 weeks early and needed care for 10 weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in QA.
Paul’s uncle, Mark Thompson-Smith has been running his own rock school ‘READY TO ROCK SCHOOL’ for several years, and after visiting Amaris in intensive care decided to dedicate the proceeds of the annual Christmas Charity gig to NICU, to thank staff who took care of Amaris.
The gig, which took place at The Wedgewood Rooms on December 17, was a fantastic six hours of rock and roll performed by students of all ages from ‘READY TO ROCK SCHOOL’, from under 10’s to over 50’s.
Mark said: ‘The concert was amazing; students from all 4 schools took part- Petersfield, Havant, Waterlooville and Portsmouth. There was a cross-section of people who like to perform as a hobby, develop skills or live their ambitions. It’s great seeing everyone progress not just in music but in their own confidence and doing the gig at the legendary Wedgewood Rooms is always really exciting and pulls the crowds at the Wedgewood Rooms.’
‘Wedgewood rooms were extremely kind is sponsoring us and our event, so we donated 100% of ticket sales, totalling in £1376 for this cause which is really close to home. For us, the rock school is about making music a lifelong passion, and if we can add value to the local community at the same time, then that is wonderful.’
Carol Buxton - Family Support & Infant Feeding Specialist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit explained how the funds will be used: ‘Our specialist incubators, the big pods where our vulnerable babies spend most of their time, are an essential piece of equipment in our department. Unfortunately, they are coming to the end of their lifespan and we are looking to replace them. The Incubators cost £15,818.00 each, so any money that comes in for those we are extremely grateful for. A huge thank you to Amaris’ family, Mark and ‘READY TO ROCK SCHOOL’.
‘READY TO ROCK SCHOOL’ will be doing more concerts throughout 2018, including Victorious Festival and Havant Working Men’s Club. For more information, visit: http://www.readytorockschool.com/
A local family have handed over a generous donation of £1500 on behalf of the Taverners Masonic Lodge to the Children’s Bubbles Fund at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.
5 years ago, daughter Savannah suffered a stroke at aged 4. She was admitted to QA where she and her family spent a week in the Children’s Department where she made her recovery.
Dad Ben said: ‘Our family has visited this Department quite a few times with various ailments over the years, Jacob is quite accident prone for example.
‘I am part of a Masonic Lodge, the Taverners Lodge, and we had two chosen charities for 2017, one of which was The Children’s Bubbles Fund. We did various fundraising events throughout the year like a raffle, race night and ladies’ night.
The service at QA has always been exceptional, there’s always plenty for the kids to do, so this money will go towards continuing that.’
The Children’s Bubbles Fund resides within Portsmouth Hospitals Charity, based at QA.
Portsmouth Hospitals Charity aims to support the patients of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust by improving existing facilities and by providing additional equipment, supporting research programmes and innovation in the development of services and education to both patients and staff.
In 2008, his mother, Karen, sadly passed away from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, aged just 40.
Her sad passing spurred Tom on to set up his own charity, The Karen Ingram Foundation, which has raised around £12,000 for various causes to support the fight against cancer, and those affected by it in the local area, such as The Rocky Appeal within Queen Alexandra Hospital.
In October, Tom chose to once again support cancer services within QA (where his mother was treated for a year) by running the Great South Run.
Tom talked about his motivation behind his support for QA:
“This is where mum was treated and we wanted to give something back to the hospital, the staff here were very kind to us.
I chose the Great South Run because it’s a local event and seemed like a good challenge to get back in the swing of things after a short break from fundraising. The race was very good fun, I enjoyed it and had a lot of support from family and friends on the day. When I crossed the finish line I was glad it was over but it was such a good feeling at the same time.
We’re going to continue doing events and help more people living with cancer.”
Tom’s girlfriend Emily said she is hoping to do the Great South Run with Tom next year. “I ‘ve never lost close family member. I still have both my parents, whereas Tom lost his mum, so it’s so good to see how the money raised is changing lives. I go with him and see him take on all these challenges, and work hard for his cause, so it’s so good to see what the funds are used for and how they help so many families. It’s definitely worth it.”
The fantastic £1,535 raised from the Great South has been donated to the Cancer information and support centre at QA, as well as Cancer research taking place within the hospital to help those living with cancer today, and develop treatments for the future.
Mary Harris, Manager of the Cancer Info and Support Centre said: “This wonderful donation will help fund various support activities for our patients and those in remission. For example, our well-being events help our visitors learn about adopting a healthy life-style to improve their overall wellness after treatments, as well as reduce the risk of the cancer returning. We also offer ‘Look Good, Feel Better’ sessions, which help women in particular feel more like themselves again after losing their hair and eyebrows.”
The Cancer Services fund resides within Portsmouth Hospitals Charity. The charity aims to support the patients of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust by improving existing facilities and by providing additional equipment, supporting research programmes and innovation in the development of services and education to both patients and staff.
The charity supports all of the Wards and Departments across the Trust and you can choose to support and fundraise for an area of the hospital that is close to your heart.
While Jack Bullen was undergoing Leukaemia treatment, although his condition was improving, he noticed the treatments often made him feel weak. While visiting another hospital for treatment, Jack noticed the cancer patients there made use of static workout bikes to rehabilitate their strength.
He and Lorraine decided they would buy some bikes for QA whilst Jack was in full remission. Sadly, 10 weeks later, he passed away aged 61.
Lorraine talked about how funds for the bikes were raised: “Everybody here contributed. I abseiled down the spinnaker with one of my stepsons... The bikes cost £800 each, we have bought 2 and there are 2 more to come…. Jack asked the family for special treatment, and I think he certainly got it. It was a fitting tribute that, after he died, I still did what he wanted. That’s why these bikes are so important. ”
Ruth Carter , Head of Nursing for Surgery and Cancer and Trust Lead Cancer Nurse, talked about how essential the bikes are for cancer patients:
“In the past, people treated for cancer were often told by medics to rest and reduce their physical activity. However, newer research from Macmillan Cancer Support has shown that exercise is not only safe for cancer patients, but it can also improve how well patients function physically to increase their quality of life.
Staying active in hospital can be difficult, especially if you need to stay in hospital for weeks at a time for cancer treatments, as some of our patients do.
The donation of these exercise bikes will allow our patients to be physically active without needing to leave the ward. “
Nurse running festive challenge in aid of Kidney Care at QA
On December 3rd , Staff nurse Hannah Little who works in the Kidney Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital will be running over 16km in a sweltering Santa suit, all in aid of her Department and in memory of a patient she originally wanted to do the event with.
Hannah spoke about why she is running the annual Southsea Santa Fun Run:
“One of my patients had wanted to complete a half marathon and I said I would help her achieve this, but sadly she passed away during the summer.
The plan had been for her to walk The Pudding Mile, and for me run with her son in The Present Plod (5km), then a group of us would take her around in her wheelchair around The Tinsel Tree (10km).
As she is unable to do the challenge, I am asking for your support in raising some funds for smaller items of equipment to ensure patients are kept comfortable in the home dialysis training areas.”
Hannah is asking for support from the people of Portsmouth as she undertakes this mammoth challenge: “ Any donation is hugely appreciated and will go to the Renal fund, which resides within Portsmouth Hospitals Charity.
If you can, please support me by visiting my online donation page: http://bit.ly/HannahSantaDash”
To find out more about the Santa Dash or if you would like take part yourself, please visit: http://bit.ly/santasouthsea
It may seem far away, but Chris is already in training for one of the greatest races in the world. He'll need your support to raise £2000 which will benefit staff and patients within the Radiology Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
He said: "I have never raised money for charity alone before so the prospect of doing so is quite daunting but I am relying on my friends and colleagues to help me!
We are so busy in radiology and need lots of equipment to improve patient care and hope that the money I raise will go some way to doing this.
I have completed half marathons before and wanted to complete the most famous marathon in the world for a great cause like Portsmouth Hospitals Charity."
Support Christopher via his online giving page: http://bit.ly/ChrisLondonMarathon
BOY DONATES HUNDRED OF TOYS TO CHILDREN WITH CANCER AT QA
After Charlie Harris (aged 7) finished his own Leukaemia treatment at the start of September, he wanted to help other children like him being treated at Queen Alexandra Hospital by making the long hours spent in care that little bit more fun.
Charlie and his family set up their own charity ‘Kicking Cancer for Charlie’ within the Children's Cancer and Leukemia Group and organised a 33 mile sponsored walk from Southampton Hospital to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham with 40 walkers all keen to help Charlie buy brand new toys and activities for children with cancer.
The walkers braved a difficult trek through adverse weather conditions but were welcomed by a jubilant crowd at QA Hospital.
Marie, Charlie’s mum said: “Charlie has been going through treatment for 3 and a half years for a rare Leukaemia, and he’s spent most of those years in Starfish (ward), it has been our second home...this was just a great way of giving back to the Ward- because they have looked after us all, not just Charlie.”
“Charlie is awesome, he’s a strong, stubborn little boy - and this was his idea!”
Tracy Morgan, children’s unit play specialist at QA expressed her gratitude on behalf of staff on Starfish Ward: “I’ve been in communication with Marie for some time, and they approached me with this idea and asked what kinds of things the Ward needed. They’ve gone over and above what we expected. Their donation in enormous and they’ve put in all of their own time and effort for such a good cause.
Marie and Charlie know themselves how frustrating being in hospital can get, so toys and games are so important for our patients. We can’t thank them enough.”
OSBOURNE GOLF CLUB MEMBERS RAISE £1850 FOR THE ROCKY APPEAL
Michael Blandford and his wife Sue, members of the Osbourne golf club have raised an incredible £1,850 in aid of The Rocky Appeal after organising a wonderful golf day and raffle on the Isle of Wight.
Michael said: “I chose The Rocky Appeal because I had the operation (with the Da Vinci robot). I just wanted to do something, knowing I had the support of the managers as well as other club members who had had (Da Vinci) operations such as our secretary.
We’ve got our own little club on the island- we’ve all had the operation! You could say it’s actually a support group.
From the basis of that, I have been very involved with the managers. We got huge support from the golf club, really good donations, and a lot of people that played brought along extra gifts for the raffle.
We intended just to run it for the morning as we are a small, 9-hole golf course but 90 odd people came along so we ran the event in the morning and through the afternoon.”
Audrey Clark from The Rocky Appeal said: “A huge thank you to Michael and Sue Blandford for their sterling efforts on raising the magnificent sum of £1,850 from their Isle of Wight Golfing Day for The Rocky Appeal.
We are now in the final stretches of this appeal with the target to be reached by May 2018 and theirfundraising will help us get that much closer. We look forward to seeing their well-deserved Boat of Bounty on our wall here at QA very soon.”
OLYMPIC SIZED TRIBUTE RAISES THOUSANDS FOR KIDNEY CARE AT QA
“Ness was a brilliant character- always smiling, always happy, he'd do anything to help anyone.” Neil Bickel said with a smile as he met with staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital’s Kidney Department.
Neil recently completed an Olympic size triathlon in memory of his close friend, Ness.
Ness was a regular patient within the Renal Department at Queen Alexandra hospital, but sadly passed away. Neil decided to raise funds for a charity of Ness' family's choice.
Neil said: “I said I wanted to do something for charity in Ness’ memory and his family chose the Renal Unit. The department really became like a second home to him and his family, and the staff have been truly amazing.”
To support the unit, Neil tasked himself with a mammoth triathlon- a 600m swim, followed by a 27 mile bike ride, and 6 mile run.
"It was my first triathlon- the toughest part was the swimming and hills, but the last 100m of the run with everyone cheering was just brilliant"
The staff here are going to ask other Renal patients who knew Ness what the money raised will go towards- something Ness would like; possibly a nice patient room for people to spend more time with their families in a quiet, relaxing setting."
Neil raised an astounding £5,195 for the Renal Department in Ness’ legacy, which will enhance care for Renal patients within Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
Neil can still be supported here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neil-bickel4
HMS VICTORIOUS ASSOCIATION RAISE FUNDS IN MEMORY
The HMS Victorious Association visited Queen Alexandra Hospital to kindly donate £200 in memory of close friend and HMS Victorious Association President: Lieutenant Arthur Light.
Mr Light, who served on the aircraft carrier, sadly passed away from cancer aged 88, and asked association members to leave not flowers in his memory but a donation to the Respiratory Department within Queen Alexandra Hospital to say ‘thank you’ for the care he received.
John Haigh, association treasurer said: “I know he asked us not to, but we will leave flowers at his grave in any case. He was a wonderful chap and always a very active member of the group…We put out an ask in our newsletter for donations in his memory and we are grateful for the response”.
Some travelled from as far as Birmingham to QA’s main site in Cosham to pay tribute and hand over a generous cheque of £200, which will help provide vital equipment, resources and education to Respiratory patients and staff within the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
CHILDREN'S SUMMER FAYRE RAISES £4500 FOR CHILDREN'S BUBBLES FUND
Saturday 16 July saw hundreds descend upon Queen Alexandra Hospital for a fantastic summer fayre in aid of children being treated within the hospital, where an incredible £4697 was raised for The Children’s Bubbles Fund.
This family-friendly event was set up by staff from the Paediatric Department and Portsmouth Hospitals Charity to raise money for the Children’s Bubbles Fund, which is dedicated to enhancing a child’s stay within QA Hospital with equipment, research and resources.
A host of stalls- from duck hooking to a Nerf Gun Alley- were available for all to try with prizes on offer like a giant 6ft teddy bear, Garmin gadgets and Paulton’s Park Tickets.
Tracy Thomas, Paediatrics Ward Sister said: ‘All of the stalls today have some connection with the Children’s Department here at QA… We have lots of staff from different parts of the Department involved; we have the Surgical Department running a Pirate course, and the Children’s Assessment team on the Human Fruit Machine.
We’re so grateful for the support from the local community. One gentleman has kindly provided us with a real Lightning McQueen from the Disney franchise ‘Cars’ as his daughter is being treated here.”
One of the stall holders were local book publishers Alan and Dave from PS-Postscript.com, who have a member of their family working as a children’s nurse on Starfish Ward.
Alan said: “We thought we would give a helping hand for all the amazing work (the staff) do. We want to raise as much as possible!”
There were visits from Nerdageddon, the Dynamic Dance Co., Musician Lewis Danny Smith and many others.
After all the bunting was put away and the money counted, Victoria Greenshields, Fundraising manager at The Portsmouth Hospitals Charity spoke: “It was a brilliant day- it’s the first time QA has held an event of this sort for 45 years, so we’re so pleased to have brought it back to life. We can’t wait to do it again next year and we’re so thankful to people who gave up their time to support us.”
KINGSFEST 2017 BENEFITS ARTHRITIS PATIENTS
On Saturday 8 July, the Annual Kingsfest event took place at the Kings Arms pub in Emsworth.
The family festival saw well over a thousand people come to enjoy the stalls, games and live music- all in aid of mums and dads with Arthritis (DaMIT), a project run by the Rheumatology Department at Queen Alexandra Hospital, which supports parents living with any form of arthritis.
The Rheumatology fund was chosen after landlord Gavin spoke to one of his regulars who expressed their connection to the department.
Gavin said during the event: “We’ve had a fantastic turnout, with over a thousand people so far. Some stalls are starting to sell out… I’ve set a Personal target between £4000-£5000”.
He will also soon be harnessing fear with a skydive as this year’s staff challenge.
Colin Beevor, Rheumatology Department matron braved the stocks as people threw soaked sponges for a donation to the Portsmouth Hospitals Charity. One punter commented on how lovely it was to see hospital staff getting involved with raising money for their departments.
Colin said afterwards: “There was so much going on at Kingsfest; splat the rat, live music, spin the wheel, a plant stall… we think the mystery bottle stall took around £300. We couldn’t have wanted a better day!”
RIDE TO RIO RAISES THOUSANDS FOR STROKE REHAB BIKES
In conjunction with the Summer Olympics, a group of patients and staff rode the distance to Rio de Janeiro in the Atrium. One of those challengers was Harriet Herbert, physiotherapist, who cycled for an impressive 12 hours!
As well as this, the Unit ran a Bake Sale, Pub Quiz and Raffle, kindly supported by local businesses such as Portsmouth Football Club and the Mount Batten Centre.
On Wednesday 31 May, staff and patients gathered to celebrate their success with a tea party- and unveil not one, but TWO rehab bikes, and an additional arm machine!
Harriet said:“We were absolutely-awe inspired by the outpouring of support from patients and staff… (it was) so wonderful to receive this and be able to get not just one, but two bikes, as we were not sure we would be able to cover the cost of one!”
As patients began testing the bikes, Harriet explained how they will benefit patients:
“When you’re in a bed for a long time, your ability to move and exercise decreases, so giving patients access to a cycling machine allows them to get the benefits of exercise in a supportive way.It also helps our patients rehabilitate their stroke-affected site. These machines can measure how much pressure you are putting on each side, so it encourages the limb that isn’t as strong to work harder and in tandem with the other one. It’s a very versatile, clever piece of equipment to support all patients.”
You can still support this fantastic unit by donating to the Portsmouth Hospitals Charity- just include a reference to the Ride to Rio or Stroke Fund.
Visit our website for more information about donating: http://www.porthosp.nhs.uk/get-involved/fundraising/donate.htm
21 May 2017
On Sunday 21 June, Portsmouth Hospitals Charity held their annual WardWalk at Staunton Country Park.
The event was enjoyed by 200 people, all walking for a Ward or Department close to their hearts.
The air was buzzing with anticipation and positivity as people shared their stories about loved ones who have received care from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. The stars of the show were undoubtedly Pam and Andy- or ‘The Hot Dog Man’, who raised £900 for UGI cancer services by walking 10k in a hot dog costume on a tropical summer’s day.
Pam said: “We are taking part in the WardWalk in memory of my Dad; John, who was diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer in January 2011…We have worked with members of (UGI Cancer Services) for a while now, and they work tirelessly to improve this department for both patients and their families. They care immensely about their patients, and we know that the money raised will be used in a way that will benefit so many.”
Last year, Portsmouth Hospitals Charity raised £10,000 from this event, and this year, we hope to raise even more!
We would also like to say a huge thank you to all who supported the event.
11th May 2017
The Oncology Department at QA has received new equipment thanks to fundraising efforts by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth.
Councillor David Fuller came to the hospital on May 11th to celebrate the arrival of 2 new blood analysers and see how care for patients will improve thanks to his donations.
Councillor Fuller thanked staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital’s Tumour Centre, saying:
“It has been a great year. I’m excited to come here today, knowing this machine and all the hard work we’ve done will help people. It is great to see it all up and working in the wards and know that something we’ve done will benefit others, just as it did for my mother.”
Ruth Carter, Head of Nursing and Lead Cancer Nurse expressed her thanks with an honorary ‘Oscar’ and staff membership.
She said: “The department has benefited in a large way- due thanks to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.”
Councillor Fuller’s term as mayor is ending soon, but he reassures us: “It is important to always be kind. I am the same happy, helpful person, just without a chain. “
If you would like to help Cancer Services next challenge, all you need do is drop off collections of 5p’s to Oncology/Radiotherapy/Haematology reception areas- until there are enough to stretch for a mile!
2 May 2017
Queen Alexandra Hospital’s Haematology and Oncology Unit have launched a ‘Mile of 5p’ fundraising challenge to raise important funds for their Department.
The mile of 5p challenge has been launched by Ruth Carter, Head of Nursing for Surgery and Cancer and Lead Cancer Nurse for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, as part of Portsmouth Hospitals Charity’s’ Cancer appeal.
The challenge is raising money for Health and Wellbeing Events for Cancer patients who have undergone treatment for their cancer.
Portsmouth Hospitals Charity would like to encourage the local community to donate towards this Appeal. Collections of 5ps can be handed into the Radiotherapy / Oncology Outpatient’s Reception, the Haematology & Oncology Day Unit Reception or to any of the areas that are displaying the 5p mile poster.
Ruth Carter started this challenge in April 2017, and hopes to raise a total of £4,505.20, which is a mile of 5ps.
Ruth said, “It is a very big ask to collect enough 5ps to cover a mile, and we are looking to collect 90,000 to raise the £4500.
All of the funds raised will go towards funding our Health and Well-being Events. These events are education and information days that enable people living with cancer and their families to take control and participate in their recovery. The latest of these events for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust was held on 25 April 2017 at the Mountbatten Centre, with over 70 patients, relatives, carers and friends attending.
A programme of informative talks ran alongside a fantastic market place, which hosted stands, where stallholders included a range of external services to help promote and support living well.
These events are very well received by our patients and allow them to meet up with other people living with and beyond cancer, as well as acting as an important support for our patients.”
2 May 2017
Sixteen members of Queen Alexandra Hospital’s Renal Staff and patients have taken part in an exciting skydive on Sunday 23rd April, to raise money for an important Ultrasound Scanner for their Department.
The Ultrasound Scanner will reduce waiting times and will improve patient experience within the Renal Department.
David Penny, from Southsea took part in the skydive, and has been receiving treatment for renal failure from the Department since 2011.
He said, “It is essential for patients to be pro-active in raising funds to purchase equipment and for services that will make treatment more readily available, which will then lead to an improved life.
The Ultrasound Scanner will make life easier for patients and staff to determine access issues more immediately rather than waiting on an appointment from another Department. Ultimately this will result in earlier diagnosis perhaps avoiding major problems going forward and will also save the NHS money.”
So far, the team of staff and patients have raised a total of £8,723.80 from taking part in the skydive.
Claire Whitehill is a Vascular Access Nurse Specialist for QA’s Renal Department. She said, “David Penny organised the skydive to bring patients, staff and relatives together, whilst raising funds to purchase equipment that would improve our Vascular Access Service.
I would like to say a massive thank you to our fellow jumpers and to everyone who sponsored us. We have received amazing support, and are already recruiting for next year!”
If you would like to take part in a charity skydive to raise funds for a Ward or Department close to your heart within QA Hospital, Portsmouth Hospital’s Charity would love to hear from you.
To take part in the Portsmouth Hospitals Charity’s skydive on Saturday 10th June, please contact the Fundraising Team on 02392 286000 Ext: 5927, or email: email@example.com
2 May 2017
Staff from our Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust Renal Department are preparing to take on a 204 mile bike ride to raise important funds for their Department!
The mammoth bike ride will take place on Wednesday 10 May and will tour the routes of the Wessex Haemodialysis Units.
The team will set off at 4:30am at QA Hospital, and will make their way to Havant, Bognor Regis, Basingstoke, Salisbury, Milford, Totton and Chandlers Ford before returning back to QA.
Eileen Duff, Renal Dietician said, “We decided to organise a challenge event that included both staff and patients, and was something that hadn’t been done before.
This will be an event that involves the entire Unit (including staff taking part in the event, those helping to make sandwiches/ cakes on the day and support car volunteers) and will build camaraderie between us all.
Six members of staff will be taking part in this epic journey – from Doctors, Surgeons, Managers and a Dietician!
All of the funds raised will go to the Renal Amenity Fund to help supply much needed equipment and training within the Unit.”
Tim Powell, Chief Executive for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said, “I am really proud that our staff have such dedication to raise money for this worthy cause. I applaud all those who are taking part in this enormous challenge, both within QA and the wider Wessex Renal Units and wish them the very best of luck.”
To support the team with their fundraising, please visit -
The Sainsbury’s store on Commercial Road, Portsmouth held a trolley dash on Sunday 2 April to raise important funds for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity, based at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.
The money raised has been donated to the Children’s Department, for the purchase of an interactive floor. The interactive floor is a projector that projects games such as hopscotch, mini football, and an interactive piano on the floor. It is a great way for the Nursing Staff to see how the children interact with play, to see their developmental stages and to provide entertainment and distraction whilst they are waiting to be seen.
The lucky winner of the trolley dash raffle was Dean Skinner, a Repair Technician from Bognor Regis.
Dean had brought his raffle ticket from the store and two weeks after purchasing his ticket he almost missed out on the opportunity after ignoring the phone call due to it being an unrecognised number. In the evening, the number went again and Dean was thrilled.
Before the dash, Dean was so excited he came to the store to look around the aisles and to suss out a plan.After the dash, Dean said he thoroughly enjoyed himself and got lots of coffee and dog food for his three dogs.
The Sainsbury’s store has kindly been raising money for the Children’s Department throughout the past year.