OXFORD Children’s Hospital has begun to reap the benefits of last year’s record-breaking OX5 Run.

The hospital, which this month celebrates its third birthday, has already received one baby transport pod as a result of the Oxford Mail-backed fun run.

The pod helps move babies safely between hospitals.

New diagnostic machines for the neurology department and toys used to distract children with learning difficulties while they undergo painful procedures will also arrive shortly, thanks to the fundraising.

The cash will also buy books to educate families with children who have severe allergies, and improvements to a children’s ward at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

Last year’s sponsored five-mile run around Blenheim Palace in Woodstock – the seventh – was the most successful to date, with more than 800 runners raising £57,000.

Children’s development officer Penny Hambridge said: “It is wonderful to have the opportunity to thank Oxford Mail readers for their fantastic support of the children’s hospital.

“Anyone who has visited the hospital knows what a special place it is, and so much of that is down to the added extras that fundraising has provided.

“We are here to look after all children who need us, from the tiniest of newborn babies through to strapping teenagers and every gift that comes in goes straight into making their hospital experience better.”

The hospital treats more than 60,000 patients from across the country each year.

Despite the OX5 Run windfall, Graham Brogden, head of community fundraising for Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, called for continued donations to the hospital, which is known as Chox.

He added: “The John Radcliffe is a very large site so these baby transport pods can be extremely useful, but we need more.”

Nearly half of the cost of the £30m children’s hospital was raised charitably.

Other donations have paid for classrooms, play terraces and medical equipment.

Now managers hope another year of fundraising from events such as the Dorchester Abbey Christmas concerts and the Play2Give football tournaments will make 2010 a year to remember.

Ms Hambridge said: “As we celebrate our third birthday I really want to say a huge thank you from the staff, children and families who use the children’s hospital to all those who continue to support us.”