This month is a special one for us at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH) because we’ve been celebrating 30 years of amazing fundraising efforts that support Great Ormond Street Hospital and the patients and families that come through its doors each and every day.
I’m Jacqui Segal, Deputy Director of Corporate Partnerships at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. I’ve been reflecting on the hospital’s history with Butlin’s and the generous support from the team, guests and friends, and I wanted to say a quick hello and a big thank you.
Back in the 1980’s, thousands of people from across the UK united to support our Wishing Well Appeal, one of the biggest and most memorable appeals in the charity’s history. It’s now 30 years since this appeal started and so much has been achieved in this time to support the hospital. We’re thrilled to have the support of Butlin’s to mark this special milestone and who are doing so much to help raise vital funds for the hospital.
In my role at GOSH Charity, I have been lucky enough to work closely with Butlin’s since the start of our partnership, which launched in 2015. Thanks to the incredible support of Butlins’ team and guests a fantastic £440,000 has been raised to support the amazing work of the hospital.
However, the relationship between Butlin’s and GOSH didn’t just start in 2015, it started with founder Sir Billy Butlin himself! When we were embarking on this partnership we knew we had a lot in common but we hadn’t quite realised the extent of our incredible shared history…
1938 is where our story really begins, when Sir Billy Butlin charged day visitors travelling on the Butlin’s Railway into Butlin’s camps on a Sunday one shilling to enter with all proceeds going to GOSH. His support for the hospital didn’t end there.
In 1965, Sir Billy Butlin helped to donate a Hydrotherapy pool to the Department of Physical Medicine at GOSH and in 1977 he donated funds to help purchase the UK’s first paediatric CT scanner.
Over the past three years it has been amazing to see Sir Billy’s legacy continue, with lots of fundraising for GOSH taking place at all three resorts and the Butlin’s head office. Much like the challenges that supporters took on during the Wishing Well Appeal, the team at Butlin’s have continued these activities, taking on challenges like the London Marathon or climbing Mount Snowdon, organising walks from Brighton to Bognor and auctioning memorabilia from Live Music Weekend breaks. Guests have shown their generous support in various ways including donating when booking their breaks and buying special Butlin’s and GOSH merchandise in the resort shops.
A very special part of our partnership is seeing how Butlin’s bring their magic and sparkle to the hospital. Since 2015, Redcoats from Butlin’s along with the Skyline Gang and lovable bears Billy & Bonnie have entertained children at the patient summer parties. Two GOSH patients have also designed fantastic tote bags that are being sold across the resorts with proceeds coming to GOSH Charity. Look out for the new design this summer!
The money being raised is making a huge difference at the hospital, funding vital pieces of specialist medical equipment designed for babies and children, helping to fund our incredible play team and helping the hospital conduct more research into childhood illnesses. The fundraising will continue over the coming years and we want you to be a part of it in helping us make history.
We are delighted that our latest celebration, thirty years since our Wishing Well Appeal, has given us a chance to reflect on the amazing history between Butlin’s and Great Ormond Street Hospital. For thirty years, people like you have helped give children the chance for a better future. Every day 618 seriously ill children arrive at GOSH from across the UK. We needed you then, and we need you now.
On behalf of the patients, families, staff and everyone at the charity, thank you to everyone at Butlin’s and all the guests for your amazing support and we look forward to the next part of our journey together.
To read more about our celebration of 30 years of support for GOSH Charity and how you can get involved please visit: gosh.org/always
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