Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
show navigation

Rocky Appeal Fundraising Target Reached 


Rocky Appeal


Thank you to everyone who has supported The Rocky Appeal over the last 27 years. From the individual supporters to the group fundraising events, The Rocky Appeal has helped to provide a significant number of additional care-enhancing pieces of equipment for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

About The Rocky Appeal

Launched in 1991 and named after the famous ‘Rocky’ films, The Rocky Appeal was formed under the umbrella of Portsmouth Hospitals Charity by Mick Lyons.  During his time working for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity, Mick Lyons formed and managed The Rocky Appeal, one of the many funds at Portsmouth Hospitals Charity which aims to help support all wards and departments within Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

As Rocky Appeal Coordinator, Mick worked tirelessly and helped to raise over £15 million for several pieces of state-of-the-art hospital equipment at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, all of which would have not been possible through traditional funding routes of the NHS. These pieces of equipment included a Cat Scanner, Unique Cancer Laboratory, futuristic dialysis machines and the Da Vinci Robot.

In June 2018 aged 74, Mick Lyons announced his retirement from his role as Rocky Appeal Coordinator and  subsequently the end of what is known as The Rocky Appeal having reached its final target of £2.4 million for the Da Vinci Robot. Although this marks an end of an era for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity, the impact that Mick Lyons and The Rocky Appeal have had on Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust will continue to benefit patients for many years in the future. 

 The Da Vinci Robot

Thanks to the generosity of the local the community and an anonymous donor, The Rocky Appeal reached its £2.4 million fundraising target for the Da Vinci Robot in June 2018. There are only 60 Da Vinci Robots currently in the UK. This technology is not available at Southampton or Chichester, our nearest neighbouring hospitals. Because of The Rocky Appeal, robotic surgery will benefit thousands of patients along the South Coast with conditions ranging from brain tumours to prostate cancer.

Fundraising for space-age keyhole surgery robot started in 2014, and with the amazing support of you in the community, Robotic surgery is here to stay at QA, meaning future generations will have access to more accurate and less invasive surgical techniques, resulting in a greatly reduced risk of complications and quicker recovery times for patients all along the South Coast. And it doesn’t stop there! Thanks to an anonymous donor who contributed a considerable amount, we are also able to purchase innovative new training equipment, which will enhance robotics training for our surgeons and trainees from all over the world.

 How does the Da Vinci Robot work?

The surgeon sits in a console controlling the robot, in a 3D environment, 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. Since installing the Da Vinci Robot at QA Hospital, patients from Portsmouth and surrounding areas, including Isle of Wight and Jersey have benefited from this innovative surgical technique.

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 recovery time and return to home and working life quicker. 




When walking down the corridor from the main atrium at QA Hospital you may notice a spectacular sea of boats on the wall opposite Costa. This is known as the Boats of Bounty Board and recorded donations to The Rocky Appeal. Although the Rocky Appeal has now closed and the last boat has been placed on the wall, this iconic wall will remain in Queen Alexandra Hospital as a reminder of the kindness and generosity from those who supported The Rocky Appeal over the years.







 There are so many ways for you to still be involved in fundraising for Portsmouth Hospitals Charity. Click the links below to find out more!

Related content

Last updated - 18 September 2019
Working together to drive excellence in care for our patients and communities


Queen Alexandra Hospital
Cosham, Portsmouth
Tel: 023 9228 6000

© Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

This website is maintained by the PHT Web Team. If you have any questions about the website please get in touch