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Listers Group Ltd are ‘all heart’ with boost to Midland Met ‘We Are Metropolitan’ campaign

Thursday, April 14th, 2022

An NHS charity has received a cash boost of nearly £200,000 to fund life-changing research into heart disease.

Kind-hearted bosses at Listers Group Ltd, England’s largest privately-owned motor group, have made the donation of £178,000 to Your Trust Charity, the registered charity of Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.

The money will go towards the charity’s Midland Metropolitan University Hospital fundraising campaign and will be used specifically to enhance research and development in the field of heart disease.

The “super hospital” is currently being built in Smethwick and will house state-of-the-art facilities, whilst serving around 500,000 people in Sandwell and West Birmingham.

Dr Derek Connolly, Director of Research and Development and Interventional Cardiologist at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust said: “We are extremely grateful to Listers Group for their extraordinary generosity. Thanks to their support, our Trust will be able to host a dedicated research and development post, specifically driving our research agenda into heart disease with Midland Met’s patients.

“Ultimately, the long-term legacy of this work will allow patients in Sandwell and West Birmingham greater access to be enrolled onto a range of research studies, supporting local, world class heart disease research that addresses pressing local population needs. This will unlock life-changing treatments for our patients.”

Heart disease is the biggest cause of mortality in the West Midlands. With the number of patients with coronary heart disease above the national average in both Sandwell and West Birmingham.  

Tim Bradshaw, Chief Operating Officer of Listers Group, said: “The Bradshaw and Lister families are delighted to be able to support this new hospital in the West Midlands, where our family and business roots began, and where a number of our 2,000 employees live and work.

“Better heart health and living a longer and healthier life, is vitally important for the area. We are very excited to work with the Trust on furthering their research agenda and making Midland Met more than a hospital.”

The “We Are Metropolitan” fundraising campaign seeks to raise £2 million towards added-value activities for the new hospital. These include projects such as new community spaces and boosting research and development efforts.

Johnny Shah, Head of Your Trust Charity, added: “We’d like to particularly thank group chairman, Keith Bradshaw and managing director, Terry Lister for this amazing donation which will change many of our patients’ lives.

“Thanks to Listers Group we are well over halfway to achieving our target for the We Are Metropolitan fundraising campaign. However, we still need the help of local businesses and our community to get to £2 million by the time our hospital opens. We want to make Midland Met more than a hospital, but that can only be achieved if we raise these vital funds.”   

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust also runs Sandwell, City and Rowley Regis Hospitals, as well as Leasowes Intermediate Care Centre and a number of GP services.

Grandad holds fundraiser to thank staff for saving three-year-old

Thursday, March 10th, 2022

A retired welder has organised fundraising events to say thanks to staff at Sandwell Hospital for saving his grandson’s life.

Bernard Yale hopes to raise thousands of pounds for Your Trust Charity, the registered charity for Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.

His grandson Kailen Williams was aged three when he was rushed to the West Bromwich-based hospital after suffering from symptoms of excessive thirst, hunger and weightloss. He was transferred to critical care where he was diagnosed with type one Diabetes.

Kailen’s mum Alison, aged 40, from Tipton, had initially thought the youngster had COVID-19 but when tests for the virus came back negative she called her GP for help.

She explained: “We got him to the hospital just in time – had it been any later he may not have been here today.

“The care he received from the staff was fantastic and they were so quick to act and diagnose him. He was close to slipping into a diabetic coma.

“It was towards the end of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic and I was convinced it was COVID. But I was so shocked to find out that he had the diabetes. I think it’s important for people to know the symptoms so that they can act fast.”

Kailen’s diabetes is now under control, with Alison, a senior care assistant, monitoring him daily with the help of her daughter Shianne.

Her dad Bernard, 69, added: “I really wanted to do something to say thank you to the hospital for saving Kailen – what they did will forever be in my heart.

“So I decided to organise a charity show which will feature a performance from the top UK ABBA tribute act Angel Eyes, music from Night Vision Roadshow, as well as an auction and there will be raffle prizes up for grabs.”

Bernard has managed to secure some top auction items at the event on 19 March, including a three night stay in a top caravan in the Isle of Wight, signed Wolverhampton Wanderers football shirts, premium tickets for Uttoxeter Races, golf equipment and a signed heavy weight pro boxing glove from Shane Gill.

Earlier in the month he organised a darts knockout tournament which raised £350.

Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Manager for Your Trust Charity, added: “This is a wonderful gesture by Bernard in recognising the care staff from the hospital gave his grandson and we’re glad to hear he is doing well.

“Raising money for the charity means that we can enhance the experience of our patients, their families and our staff. We appreciate all that Kailen’s family are doing.”

The event will take place at Allen’s sports bar, Newhall Street, Tipton. Entry is free and booking in advance is not required.

Charity initiatives pave the way for healthcare workers of the future

Friday, February 18th, 2022

Your Trust Charity has been awarded more than £90,000 for a scheme which will give work placement opportunities to youths across the community.


Your Trust Charity, run by the Trust, has been given the grant by NHS Charities Together to run the Youth Volunteering Champions (YVC) project. It will benefit 16 to 18 year-olds looking for experience in the healthcare sector.  


It will run alongside SCORE (Supporting Career Opportunities, Recruitment and Employment), a similar initiative which offers 16 to 30 year-olds work placements, giving them confidence and experience in a healthcare setting as well as help in building up other skills ensuring they are “job ready” when they finish the programme.  


Wari Gharib (pictured), aged 19, recently joined SCORE and has ambitions to become a neurosurgeon. He has applied to study medicine at university and hopes that the experience he gains in clinical settings at the Trust which runs Sandwell, City and Rowley Regis Hospitals, will lead to better opportunities in the future.  


He said: “My passion is in neurosurgery and when I found out about SCORE I was keen to build on my experience within clinical settings. School obviously prepares you academically but what this initiative does is give you the opportunity to work within healthcare settings and see first-hand what it is like.  


“I think it’s a really important programme and opens up so much to those who are on it.” 


Johnny Shah, Head of Your Trust Charity, welcomed the funding. He said: “This project will really help to give young people in our community an opportunity to experience working within the healthcare sector. It gives them short-term experience, but it also ties in nicely with our SCORE initiative.  


“Both will offer a variety of roles within customer services, our hospitality services, and portering. They will also provide opportunities in charity funded projects, such sports leadership and our ‘art in hospital’ programme. They will either be offered as internships or as work experience over a period of time.” 


SCORE was officially launched mid-February and has a number of candidates already volunteering. It is funded by The Prince’s Trust and aims to boost the confidence of those who have been left out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for them to find skilled meaningful jobs, particularly roles at our Trust but also with associated teams and other NHS partners across the region.  


It offers mandatory training in English and Maths, accredited modules built around health and social care, wellbeing and sports leadership, as well as work placements and CV writing. Those involved will have opportunities to take part in team building activities and in using sports as therapy.   


Although the scheme doesn’t guarantee a permanent job, when the project comes to an end, it is aiming to provide 150 entry level opportunities, including apprenticeships.

Bear hugs on hand, as NHS charity receives teddy donation

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

If you go down to the wards today, you could be in for a big fluffy surprise.

A local Masonic lodge is set to make hospital journeys a little better for young children thanks to a donation of extremely cuddly bears.

The Walton Walker and Sandwell Lodge 3847 has donated the colourful toys as part of the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) campaign to Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust’s Your Trust Charity. The national initiative is funded through the donations of Freemasons, their families and supporters of the programme.

The individually sealed bears will be given to young patients who attend Sandwell and City Hospitals to make their journey a little bit brighter.

Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Manager for Your Trust Charity, received the cuddly toys from Jim Cairns from the Sandwell Lodge along with bear bin badges.

She commented: “It’s a lovely gesture and one sure to raise a smile for little ones who have visited our hospitals. Your Trust Charity is about enhancing the experience of our patients and their families and these bears will definitely make a difference. We look forward to delivering these individually-wrapped bears into the paws of their new owners as soon as we’re able.”

Jim added: “It was good to meet with Amanda and hand over the first consignment of bears. We will be working with the charity to find out the most efficient way to organise donations going forward.”

There are 47 TLC initiatives in place around the country. The bears are used to calm children down, reward them for being brave or to demonstrate procedures. Often the bears distract children so nurses and doctors can get their jobs done quickly and efficiently.

Many Freemasons also volunteer hundreds of hours each year to manage the scheme, delivering bears to hospitals and campaigning to raise funds and increase awareness through events and talks.

Jim Cairns from the Walton Walker and Sandwell Lodge 3847 with Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Manager from Your Trust Charity.

Jim Cairns from the Walton Walker and Sandwell Lodge 3847 with Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Manager from Your Trust Charity.

Motorcycle man is all heart after raising cash for NHS heroes

Thursday, January 13th, 2022

A keen motorcyclist has raised more than £500 for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Service at the Trust to say thanks for the care he received following heart surgery.

Peter Upton, 66, wanted to acknowledge the support from the team after he underwent an operation to fit five stents at City Hospital, Birmingham, which is run by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.

Following the surgery in August he was referred to the cardiac rehab service, who run twice weekly virtual exercise classes to help heart patients with their recovery.

Peter runs The Ibex Trials Motorcycle Club with his wife Georgina, so decided to hold an event with nearly 60 competitors on New Years’ Day to raise the cash. The event, organised with other members Nigel and Luke Hewitt, involved bikes riding up difficult terrain without the riders feet touching the ground.

He donated a portion of the entry money towards the service’s Your Trust Charity fundraising pot, which is the official charity for the NHS Trust.

Dad-of-two Peter, from Tamworth, said: “The exercise physiologists and the rest of the team have been excellent since the day I was referred to them.

“They have followed up with my care and checked on me continuously making sure I have been able to carry out the exercises.

“I wanted to give something back and thought that this event would be the perfect way. I’ve now started getting back into motorcycle trials.”

Peter said the exercise sessions have helped him to become active again and have made a difference to his health. “I hadn’t been doing anything during lockdown and we had to also suspend club events due to the pandemic,” he added.

“These sessions have got me moving again and definitely helped me in my recovery.”

Jake O’Brien, Exercise Physiologist, received the cheque for £535 from Peter on behalf of the service.

He said: “The Cardiac Rehabilitation Team is overwhelmed with Peter’s generosity – this donation will help to pay for new equipment such as dumbbells, heart rate monitors and additional software which will further improve patient care and their experience within our service. 

“We currently offer virtual and face-to-face exercise classes as well as home exercise guides and the heart manual. Peter has been completing his cardiac rehabilitation virtually and it’s great to know that our patients are not only benefitting from, but also enjoying the exercise classes. It’s important to provide our patients with the best care possible, whether we are seeing patients in the nurse-led clinics or when we are instructing exercise classes.   

“Cardiac Rehab is proven to reduce hospital re-admissions and this amazing donation will help our service to look at innovative ways in engaging more patients with different delivery methods. The physical, psycho-social and mental wellbeing of all of our patients is paramount as they have been through quite a life changing experience when it comes to their health.  We’d like to thank Peter and those who took part in the event for this fantastic donation.” 

Amanda Winwood, Fundraising Manager for Your Trust Charity, said: “It’s been quite a challenging two years for all of our staff and so it is always welcome when our communities recognise the dedication of our teams.
“Many of our services have a fundraising pot which goes towards enhancing the experiences of our patients, their families and staff. We’d like to thank Peter and the club for their support.”