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NHS workers set for charity abseil in aid of Sunderland Royal Hospital

A previous charity abseil at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
A previous charity abseil at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

NHS workers are set to scale new heights to raise cash for the hospital trust in which they are employed.

Staff at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust will do a charity abseil from the Royal Hospital building on April 22.

Dr Yitka Graham.

Dr Yitka Graham.

The event is being organised by City Hospitals Sunderland Charity with the proceeds set to help projects over and above what the NHS provides.

Dr Yitka Graham, a researcher based at Sunderland Royal and the University of Sunderland, specialising in bariatric surgery, is one of those taking part.

She wants to raise awareness and fight the stigma of bariatric surgery whilst raising money to help make the hospital more comfortable for the patients she supports through her research.

She said: “Undergoing bariatric surgery is not an easy decision - it significantly affects peoples’ lives, as they learn to adjust to new ways of eating, social relationships and living with changes that bariatric surgery brings.

“These adjustments are not widely understood by others, which can make life difficult for our patients.

“Bariatric surgery doesn’t just change lives, it saves lives.”

Readers can donate to Dr Graham by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/yitka-graham.

Also taking part is Claire Boylan, an elder life specialist practitioner at the Royal.

She works with patients suffering from dementia or delirium from the Alexandra Centre, ensuring that the impact of their illness is minimised, and that they can enjoy life and as much independence as possible.

Claire is hoping to raise money for additional equipment and resources so the centre can make therapies as personal support as possible.

She said: “As a team we are always looking for ideas to fundraise so that we can buy the equipment required for any new activities we wish to provide.

“The therapies we provide make a huge difference to our patients and their hospital journey.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-boylan-kayleigh-fisk to donate to Claire’s appeal.

And Marie Wilcox, a staff nurse on Ward C33 at the Royal, is also one of those doing the challenge.

The ward primarily cares for patients fighting head and neck cancers.

“I started work on the ward back in December, and I’ve been enjoying the work so much and everyone has been so supportive that I thought I could definitely give something back and fundraise,” she said.

Places are still available on the abseil if you would like to support a ward or service at the hospital.

In particular, Sunderland Royal’s Paediatric wards and the Eye Infirmary are in need of support.

To find out more about the event and register go to www.chsft.nhs.uk/charity-events.