‘Be a Diamond’ and help Rugby’s hospital

An award-winning group of fundraisers have launched a major campaign to raise £60,000 to improve services at the Hospital of St Cross.

The Advertiser is backing them all the way – and we want you, our readers, to help.

An artist's impression of the planned new blood-taking unit

An artist's impression of the planned new blood-taking unit

The appeal has been launched by the Friends of St Cross to mark its 60th anniversary. The money will pay for big improvements to blood-taking services at the hospital - the most-used facility at St Cross. The service has been under pressure for some time as several thousand patients a month use it, often resulting in queues outside a packed waiting room.

The project will relocate the service into the heart of the Rainsbrook Wing and provide dedicated access from what is currently the volunteers’ car park. It will also double its capacity. The appeal was announced at the charity’s annual general meeting on Monday where they also celebrated their recent triumphs which include winning the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services - equivalent to an MBE.

Heather Green, chairperson of the Friends, said: “This is the first time in recent years that we have launched an appeal and we will be seeking the support of local business as well as the general public and the many clubs and societies who have kindly nominated us as their ‘charity of the year’.”

David Moon, chief strategy officer at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust, which runs St Cross, said the hospital was a vital part of the trust and was much loved by patients, staff and community in Rugby.

He added: “The trust will continue to work with the Friends to continue to improve services to the patients we serve.”

Several businesses have already pledged support for the campaign and the Friends welcome all fundraising efforts from people in Rugby.

The Advertiser will follow the project’s progress and is keen to hear about readers’ fundraising plans to help support the campaign.

Over the next 12 months, we’ll be reporting on what you’re doing to help the appeal - as well as getting involved ourselves in the fundraising.

The Friends of the Hospital of St Cross was founded in 1955 and has over 200 dedicated volunteers.

Email editorial@rugbyadvertiser.co.uk, call (01788) 539969, Tweet us @RugbyAdv or contact us via Facebook (facebook.com/RugbyAdvertiser) to tell us what you’re doing to help the Friends hit their target.

Visit http://www.friendsofstcross.org.uk/ for more information.