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£1m 'milestone' for health charity

Published: 22 Apr 2012 18:00

A LEADING health charity is celebrating a record-breaking "milestone" in its mission to boost efforts to provide world beating patient care.

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Charity staff praised donors for helping them raise £1m in the 2011-12 financial year to pay for extra equipment at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

It is the Royal Berks Charity's record haul since it was formed nearly three years ago and director Mark Goff said: "Breaking through the £1m mark is a massive milestone. The results are fantastic and we feel like the luckiest people in the world for our role in making a difference."

Among its successes are raising more than £25,000, less than six weeks after launching the Chronicle-sponsored £100,000 Accelerator Appeal in February towards a state-of-the-art radiotherapy machine, and topping £300,000 in 12 months for the Robbie the Robot Appeal towards its pioneering key-hole surgery robot.

More than 80 runners helped them raise £40,000 at last year's Reading Half Marathon and they anticipate increasing that to £60,000 from this year's race when 180 athletes pounded the course on the charity's behalf.

The charity regularly takes requests from individual departments for extra equipment not normally covered by NHS budgets.

The hospital's Stroke Unit was among those benefiting by receiving a number of aids helping patients regain movement and co-ordination and building strength and dexterity - ranging from £10,000 towards four Bioness MESS hand rehabilitation systems, which send electrical pulses to stimulate muscles and nerves, to just 80p for pots of Silly Putty to improve hand gripping techniques.

Occupational therapist Deirdre Donohoe: "The money people donate is so precious - especially in these economic times. Something as simple as pots of putty can really make a difference to their lives and we can have a variety of equipment to help in their rehabilitation."

Mr Goff said: "Some of the equipment we provide is worth a matter of pennies but it makes a difference."

To donate contact 0118 322 6969, email charity@royalberkshire

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