A DECADE ago Oxford Children’s Hospital opened its doors for the first time, largely thanks to the tremendous generosity of Oxford Mail readers.

As the hospital in Headington celebrates its 10th anniversary it has once again called upon on you, our readers, and the people of Oxfordshire to help raise vital funds to support sick children and families.

Donate here 

The Oxford Children’s Hospital 10th Anniversary Appeal aims to raise £2m towards a new 62-bedroom Ronald McDonald House for parents to stay close to their poorly youngsters and to fund other vital equipment.

Oxford Mail:

Artist's impression of the new Ronald McDonald House 

Plans for the facility – to add to the current 18-bedrooms on site – were approved in July last year and the four-storey building will have 248 beds.

Inside the hospital itself money donated to the appeal will buy crucial bedside monitors for every child that constantly check heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. Money will also be spent on a new outdoor play area to be used by the 30,000-plus children treated at the hospital each year.

Eleanor Jones, head of fundraising at Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds, said: “It’s hard to believe almost 10 years have passed since the Oxford Children’s Hospital opened its doors to thousands of young patients – from babies through to teens.

Oxford Mail:

Lily Ijewere with her mum Helen on Tom's Ward

“We simply wouldn’t have this wonderful facility without the support that came from the local and wider community – including so many Oxford Mail readers.

“Parents, local companies, other charities and, of course, children, all threw themselves into our fundraising campaign. The result: a wonderful hospital that is tailor-made for our young patients, offering care for everyday injuries through to the most specialised procedures such as cancer, craniofacial and brain surgery.”

The hospital’s charity urged readers to show that same community spirit a decade on to further improve its care and support for the most poorly children in the county.

Oxford Mail:

For more information on how you can donate and support the hospital see the new dedicated website 

Chief executive Douglas Graham said: “We want to thank the tremendous support of our local community – as it is largely thanks to their generosity that we have had this superb facility treating our children over the last 10 years, including my own daughter.

“However, there is more that can be done, so we really hope you will help us once again as we launch our 10th Anniversary Appeal. Please do get involved by making a donation, taking part in an event or fundraising with a group of friends or colleagues – your support really will make a difference and help ensure children and their families continue to be looked after in the best possible way for the next 10 years.”

Special edition

The Oxford Mail is today publishing a 12-page special edition dedicated to the hospital.

Oxford Mail: Our reporter Callum Keown has spent time on various wards meeting some of the patients being cared for and speaking to staff who work tirelessly to look after the children. 

Have you had experience at the hospital you'd like to share? Perhaps you're fundraising in your own way. We'd love to hear from you.