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Newcastle Hospitals Charity Campaign to Celebrate the Unforgettable People of the Region

Newcastle Hospitals Charity Campaign Newcastle Hospitals Charity
March 2024
Reading time 3 Minutes

Meet the charity that cares for NHS staff and the local community

Living North caught up with Newcastle Hospitals Charity, an organisation dedicated to supporting the communities of the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Freeman Hospital, Great North Children's Hospital and Northern Centre for Cancer Care. We find out more about their latest campaign, which highlights the unforgettable people of the region, and the NHS staff who care for them.

We spoke to Teri Bayliss, Director of Newcastle Hospitals Charity, to find out more about the campaign and the work of the charity. ‘We are immensely lucky to have world-class healthcare institutions right on our doorstep and at Newcastle Hospitals Charity, we are proud to provide support to patients, staff, and the wider hospital communities,’ Teri says. ‘Our funding supports a range of initiatives, from cutting-edge cancer research to providing psychological support for staff and making essential improvements to the patient experience.

‘The Unforgettable People campaign is part of our broader ambition to create a greater understanding of the name of the charity as a part of our regional identity. We wanted to develop a campaign that highlights what our charity is all about – people and our community. It brings some of the stories that happen daily on our wards closer to the public eye, and it is an important first step in showing the region not just what we do, but what our work means to the people who benefit from it.’

Stefan Lepkowski, a participant in the campaign, explains why he wanted to be involved. ‘When my little boy, Jan, was just three, he fell into a pond, face down and had to be airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary,’ he says. ‘His life was saved by Asif Hasan, who came with his incredible team from the Freeman Hospital and reassembled a life-saving ECMO machine he had brought with him.

‘Jan had to spend eight weeks in and out of intensive care, in the hospital, and the entire team of doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists that cared for him were incredible. They made even the most painful physio exercises feel like a fun game for him; I’ll be indebted to all of them for the rest of my life.’ The care he and his family received made a lasting impact. ‘That is why I was so keen to be involved in the Unforgettable People campaign, because it was the perfect opportunity to thank every member of the NHS team, and a chance to thank the charity for making such a big difference.’

Newcastle Hospitals Charity

Victoria and Lawrie Himsworth share their experience after their daughter Georgia underwent  extensive cancer treatment during the height of Covid, all before the age of 18 months. ‘By the time we were referred to Newcastle RVI and Georgia’s illness was identified as a high-risk, multi-system case of Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, she was so ill she needed a blood transfusion the same day,’ they explain. ‘We would go on to spend over 90 out of the next 100 days and nights on the children’s cancer ward while Georgia underwent chemotherapy and received over 70 blood and platelet transfusions.

‘That’s why we were so happy to be part of the Unforgettable People campaign, as it’s such a huge priority for us to do whatever we can to raise awareness about Georgia’s illness so that other parents, carers and even GPs know what to look out for and might be able to identify it earlier. We also wanted to show our huge appreciation to the staff on the wards that looked after us, as well as the entire NHS.’

Teri says that support from the public is essential for the charity. ‘We always welcome people to check our website for details on volunteering opportunities. Fundraising is also vital, and we have many supporters who fundraise at work, school, and even participate in events like the Great North Run to support us,’ Teri explains. ‘We take the donations of our supporters and direct them to wherever there is the most significant need. We support aspects of the hospital experience that sometimes get overlooked, from acupuncture therapy and counselling sessions to fruit and veg stalls and colourful and distracting seating for children in the Paediatric A&E waiting room.’ 

Raising awareness of the charity will allow it to continue to work with local communities and families experiencing hardship, and extend its reach going forward, something that Teri feels strongly about. ‘I hope that in the future, we can expand our network of volunteers and fundraisers to generate more support for patients and their families, ensuring that more unforgettable connections and people are able to flourish.’ 

For more information on the campaign and to show your support for Newcastle Hospitals Charity, visit

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