Success stories

Learn more about the many success stories of our fundraising initiatives!

Chemo ward boost from determined fundraiser

A grateful cancer survivor has proved a fundraising force to be reckoned with after handing over £5000 to the chemotherapy ward at Walsall Manor Hospital.

Tracey Astbury aged 51 vowed to help the ward following her January 2019 diagnosis. She is currently receiving chemotherapy after surgery removed the cancer.

Tracey, whose family is no stranger to fundraising after her daughter Charlotte did a skydive to raise funds for dementia, organised a Brave the Shave head shave as her first event.

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Desert challenge for hospital fundraiser Sam

She’ll shortly be Sahara-bound and Walsall Manor Hospital Discharge Co-ordinator Sam Gibson plans to take her desert fundraising challenge in her stride – despite it being the equivalent of two marathon distances in two days!

The 37-year-old decided to push herself to get fit a few years ago and is now a regular at the gym while also training by walking along the borough’s canal paths.

She is due to fly from Stansted on 10 October before making the six-hour journey from Marrakesh to Tizguine to start The Saharan Challenge group event on 11 October and raise money for Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity.

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Hair’s to Justine’s fundraising efforts

Breast cancer survivor and Walsall Staff Nurse Justine Rees is shaving all her hair off for charity and to help fellow patients.

And Justine is giving her largest sponsor the chance to wield the clippers on her big day this Thursday 26 September at 11am in the main atrium of Walsall Manor Hospital.

The 52-year-old has worked at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust for 33 years in theatres and arrivals.

In 2018 she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer after finding a lump. She had to endure chemotherapy, radiotherapy and have a mastectomy.

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Matthew’s our Well Wishers Running Man!

Walsall Medical Director Dr Matthew Lewis will soon be leaving the Black Country behind to tackle this year’s Great North Run in Newcastle.

And he will be raising money for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s charity Well Wishers when he tackles the 13.1 mile course on Sunday 8 September.

Matthew, who joined the trust last year and is a gastroenterologist, has done the half marathon challenge a few times – and all of his three daughters have run it too – so he is feeling confident of success.

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A £6,000 boost from Sister Dora’s Explorers

A group of fundraisers calling themselves Sister Dora’s Explorers have saddled up, teed off and got the party started to raise £6,000 to buy a machine to help patients receiving chemotherapy at Walsall Manor Hospital.

The group clocked up 200 miles in just one day cycling from Brighton Pier to the hospital and boosted their fundraising efforts further with a golf day supported by local businesses, friends and family at Bloxwich Golf Club and a Halloween party at Old Wyrley Hall.

The cash will be used to buy an Accuvein machine for the chemotherapy ward.

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Well Wishers provides the best medicine for young patients

Young patients are finding music, dance and games are the best medicine thanks to fundraisers who have helped buy a new system to brighten up the waiting room on the Paediatric Assessment Unit at Walsall Manor Hospital.

While they’re waiting young patients are having their minds taken off their illnesses via images projected on to the floor. And with more than 80 different programmes they can be in the middle of Star Wars one minute or playing with sea creatures the next.

The popular distraction has been funded through donations made to Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Well Wishers charity – many of which have come via book sales at the Purple Hub in the outpatients corridor.

Ten-year-old Sienna Trappett had a whale of a time while she was awaiting test results.

“I like the Star Wars bubble game the best,” she said.

But staff are equally mesmerised.

Caroline Whyte, Divisional Director of Nursing – Children, Young People and Neonates, said: “It’s really tempting to join in when you hear the squeals of delight and giggles coming from the children and young people in the waiting room. We’re extremely grateful to Well Wishers for all the money raised by supporters.”

A bright Well Wishers welcome

Visitors to Walsall Manor Hospital can be sure of a bright welcome thanks to volunteers who have once again planted out its  Well Wishers charity logo in a flower bed by the entrance.

Staff from the Skanska FM team helped during their Living Our Values Week alongside Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust  volunteer Bill Ellens. And Hollybush Garden Centre once again provided the plants at a discounted price which Skanska paid for.

Georgie Westley, Walsall Healthcare Fundraising Manager, said: “The sun shone on our volunteers’ efforts and I’d like to thank them all for their help in creating what has now become a much-loved feature at the hospital.

“Our volunteer Bill always does a sterling job watering the plants and gives up so much of his time to ensure it looks its best. It’s a novel way for us to spread the word about our Well Wishers charity which buys items above and beyond what the NHS can provide in both our hospital and community services.”

If you’d like to support Well Wishers or organise an event to raise money please contact Georgie on 01922 721172 ext 6643 or email georgie.westley@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk. Visit Well Wishers’ website at www.walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk/charity.

We’re on a fundraising high!

A group of staff – their friends, family and dogs – took fundraising to new heights as they climbed Mount Snowdon to raise money for patients who use Walsall Healthcare services in the Manor Hospital and community.

Organised through the Well Wishers charity, the climb took place on Saturday 11 May and the group followed the Llanberis Path route of nine miles taking fundraisers more than 3,100 feet up to the summit of Wales’ tallest mountain.

Staff from nursing, midwifery, Shelfield Child Development Centre, portering, communications, patient experience, theatres and admin all took part.

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Year-long neonatal fundraiser launched

Staff from Walsall Manor Hospital’s Neonatal Unit, its Well Wishers charity and Marks & Spencer have all joined forces to launch a year-long fundraising partnership to support the parents and carers of premature babies.

Staff at Marks & Spencer in Wednesbury considered three potential fundraising appeals by different charities but Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Neonatal Unit secured the most votes. Fundraising will focus on giving a parents area in the newly expanded neonatal unit a homely feel.

Paul Barnes, M&S Commercial Operations Section Manager, joined M&S Community Champion Carol Smith, Walsall Healthcare’s Fundraising Manager Georgie Westley, Neonatal Unit Senior Nurse/Ward Manager Lisa Poston and Janet Gethfield, Neonatal Sister, to officially launch the 12 month appeal yesterday.

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Martin’s 52 mile challenge

He may have hung up his boxing gloves but Well Wishers charity patron Martin Gethin isn’t taking it easy with a 52.4mile challenge on the horizon to raise money for Walsall mums who need extra support.

Martin, former British Lightweight Champion and IBF Super Lightweight Champion, will team up with his brother Steven to take on the Heineken Race To The Tower event in the Costwolds on 8 June.  The 35-year-old’s aim is to complete 15 miles at a time before taking a break.

The Walsall boxing star took part in the London Marathon back in 2010 and while this event is twice that distance he’s hoping that he and Steven will spur each other on.

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International Day of the Midwife – Elizabeth’s story

Elizabeth McDonough is overjoyed at becoming a first time mum, something she never thought she’d achieve.

And she credits the support of Walsall Healthcare’s Wren – Women requiring extra nurturing – team with helping her to achieve her dream.

Elizabeth, aged 38, has suffered from anxiety and depression since the age of 16 and also has other health issues.

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Fundraising proves out of this world for Walsall youth club members

There’s thrills, spills, laughter and out of this world experiences waiting for young people with physical disabilities who attend a youth club in Walsall now that fundraisers have made a donation that everyone is queuing up to enjoy!

Enoch Evans Solicitors LLP raised £1,320 through Make A Will Fortnight run in partnership with Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity and asked for the proceeds to be spent on Virtual Reality (VR) headsets for young people who meet at MySpace. The youth club, run by Walsall Healthcare’s Transitional Team, was set up for those transitioning from children’s services to adult services and as well as providing activities also gives young people an opportunity to make new friends and socialise.

And staff from Enoch Evans were able to see just how much of an impact the VR sets are having – as well as have a go themselves – when they attended the club recently.

Twins David and Jonathan Morris are huge fans of the new kit.

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Spreading some cheer

How lovely! Thank you to members of the Sahi Mandal Friends Group of Hindu ladies who came into Walsall Manor Hospital to spread some cheer on Ward 2.

The ladies, fantastic supporters of our Well Wishers charity, brought in chocolate treats and games for elderly patients and also sang them a special blessing to help aid their recovery.

Baby Aid appeal to support Walsall mums

Walsall Healthcare has today launched its Baby Aid charity appeal to help borough mums who need extra support.

In a joint partnership, the Wren team – Women requiring extra nurturing – and Well Wishers are asking for donations of a range of items to help mums in need. The appeal is being supported by Tesco Walsall and St Matthew’s Asda Walsall who have kindly supplied items to start the appeal with Tesco also agreeing to be a collection point for donations. Baby Aid will be launched at Tesco tomorrow (Tuesday 9 April).

The Wren team works with mums-to-be who need extra support due to a number of issues including domestic violence, addiction, and mental ill health. Teenage mums-to-be are also supported.

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Eyes down for a good night’s sleep

A charity donation of eye masks and ear plugs will be just the tonic for patients trying to get a good night’s sleep at Walsall Manor Hospital.

The items have been bought by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Well Wishers charity as part of the Quiet Protocol which was launched last year. This has been introduced following feedback through Patient Experience surveys which showed that patients are often having trouble falling and staying asleep due to noisy and often too bright environments. This can have a real impact on their recovery.

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Family’s thank you for Walsall Neonatal staff

Little Ezra Charalambous is full of energy and really keeps her parents George and Sanita on their toes.

It’s hard to believe she was born prematurely at 24 weeks weighing just one pound and seven ounces and needed to be cared for in Walsall Manor Hospital’s Neonatal Unit.

Her grateful parents came back to the unit recently to bring in a donation for our Well Wishers charity of £750 raised at Ezra’s first birthday celebrations on 28 November last year. The couple also raised money for Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital as their daughter was transferred there following her birth and spent seven weeks there.

Ezra came back to Walsall’s Neonatal Unit during the second week of January 2018 and was discharged on 14 March.

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Saying thanks is key for Ardeep

Borough businessman Ardeep Badwal has shown his appreciation towards NHS staff who cared for his mother by donating wipeable and washable computer keyboards to  Walsall Manor Hospital.

Ardeep Badwal, Managing Director of KBS Keyboard Specialists Ltd, of Darlaston, said he wanted to do something to say thank you to those who helped and cared for his mother who was taken ill with heart problems.

He donated a package worth £1,000 to Walsall Manor Hospital after contacting its fundraising team – and did the same for Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital where his Willenhall mother was treated.

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Helping to reduce amputation risk

A new toe pressure device to help diagnose Walsall patients who may be suffering from a potentially fatal condition has been bought with the help of charity donations.

The Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust Community Podiatry Team at Bentley Health Centre set up clinics specialising in Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) which is a form of cardiovascular disease in which a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries restricts the blood supply to leg muscles.

It can lead to amputations and prove fatal.

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Charity Dinner serves up fundraising boost

Appointments will be much more fun for young patients using Walsall Healthcare’s children’s services thanks to the fundraising efforts of Brownhills company Top Marques Insurance.

Staff organised a Charity Dinner last month for Well Wishers, Walsall Healthcare’s charity, and raised a huge £4,577.

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We like driving in our cars!

Young patients on the children’s ward at Walsall Manor Hospital are arriving for their operations in style – behind the wheel of a motorised Mini, Audi and Ferrari or a push along Fiat 500 for our smaller children.

The cars have been donated to Ward 21 by Arran Bailey from ALB Group, and Harry Whyte from HBW who are working on Walsall’s Tameway Tower currently and always make donations to worthy causes in whichever area they’re working in.

The cars are proving a real hit with children who can’t wait to get into the driving seat and hit the road to Theatres.

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Footballers score a hospital hit

Elderly patients at Walsall Manor Hospital had a ball with footballing stars of the future who popped in to bring some Christmas cheer.

As well as proving a tonic for patients, the young players from Aston Villa’s scholarship programme helped out on Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Well Wishers charity stall and joined the Older People’s Mental Health team for a tea party in the main atrium of the Manor Hospital.

And the year two scholars also presented Well Wishers with a cheque for £600.

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Patients benefitting from pinball marathon fundraiser

A World Record-breaking pinball marathon certainly hit the charity jackpot for Walsall’s prostate cancer patients as it helped towards the cost of a piece of equipment to help better identify the condition.

After a marathon 30 hours, pinball player Wayne Johns passed his fundraising goal of £5,000 and, at that time, also broke the 27 hour World Record for continuous pinball playing in October 2016.

Wayne, a Theatre Equipment Manager at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, wanted to do something that would catch people’s attention and get them talking about prostate cancer as his father Bill suffers from the condition.

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Charity donation a reality – thanks to Walsall solicitors

For young people with physical disabilities who attend a youth club in Walsall run by Walsall Healthcare’s Transitional Team, the world is now quite literally their oyster thanks to a donation from Enoch Evans Solicitors LLP which will be used to buy Virtual Reality headsets.

The club, which meets at MySpace in Walsall, was set up for those transitioning from children’s services to adult services and as well as providing activities also gives young people an opportunity to make new friends and socialise.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust teamed up with Enoch Evans Solicitors LLP to stage make A Will Fortnight in September with proceeds being donated to the Trust’s Well Wishers charity.

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Lolly’s Place unveiled for Walsall patients

A chill out room has been created for teenagers being treated on the  children’s ward at Walsall Manor Hospital –  thanks to money raised in memory of former patient Lauren  “Lolly” Wilkinson whose family wanted to create a fitting tribute to the  much-loved teenager.

Lolly’s family managed to raise £5,000 following the 17-year-old’s death  from a cardiac arrest after an  asthma attack in January 2017. The money came from donations  at her funeral as well as from the wider Darlaston community  who knew the popular Grace Academy student.

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Charity focus on stroke service for Walsall patients

Development of stroke rehabilitation in Walsall to make it one of the best services in the country has been chosen as the project to benefit from a year-long partnership between Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity and the Saddlers Shopping Centre.

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Make Someone Smile

‘Make Someone Smile’ Week has been a chance to brighten up someone’s Christmas with just a small act of kindness, so thanks to everyone who took the time to visits patients, sing carols, donate gifts or for recognising the hard work of colleagues over the past year (click here for the PDF version of the montage).

And thanks to everyone who took part in the Well Wishers Hamper raffle which raised £337.99 for the Child Development Centre appeal. Congratulations to winners Ann Hawes, Hayley Clemmings, Sandra Dawes and Michelle Cox.

Putting fundraising in fashion for Well Wishers


They were dressed to impress and gave Naomi and Kate a run for their money when they took to the catwalk for a fashion show to raise money for Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity.

From maternity to procurement, via occupational therapy, outpatients the Acute Medical Unit and Purple Hub, Walsall Healthcare staff strutted their stuff at the event at Walsall’s Holiday Inn in Wolverhampton Road.

Georgie Westley, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Fundraising Manager, said: “We are raising money for maternity services to buy a maternal invasive monitoring system which costs around £5,000 and Monday night’s event raised just over £660 towards this.

They came, they saw, they ran – and walked – and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust staff did its charity proud!

Around 70 fundraisers joined the Walsall Rotary Club Fun Run at Walsall Arboretum yesterday (Sunday 25 September 2016) to raise money for the Trust’s Well Wishers charity.

The sun shone for most of the event and personal trainers from Sweat! Union Gym in Walsall showed their support by helping everyone through some warm up stretches before the 10k run, 5k run and 3k walk got underway.

Swim the channel


Fundraisers who took the plunge and agreed to swim the equivalent distance of the English Channel – without leaving Walsall – have netted almost £2,000 for charity.

The sponsored swim last month brought in £1866.90 for Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity which raises money for items above and beyond what the NHS can provide.

Including friends and family, around 25 colleagues took the plunge at Walsall Gala Swimming and Fitness Centre and set themselves the challenge of completing 1,344 lengths in total.  Walsall Healthcare’s Chief Executive Richard Kirby and nine-year-old Freddie White, son of Trust Dental Nurse Lisa White, started everyone off while Walsall’s boxing star Martin Gethin, IBF Super Lightweight Champion, also clocked up some lengths!

The fundraiser was suggested by Pathology Services Manager Sharon Dicken who did more than 150 lengths herself on the day. Proceeds from the event are going towards elderly care at the Trust – focusing on supporting patients with Learning Disabilities.