National Express supports Neonatal Unit

A team from National Express West Midlands’ Pensnett garage in Dudley has given nearly £700 to Russells Hall Hospital to help fund vital supplies and equipment for babies that require specialist care.

Long-serving bus driver and committed fundraiser Dave Gerrard organised a charity football match between his garage and West Midlands Police to raise money for the local hospital’s neonatal unit. 

Despite losing the match 5-0 to West Midlands Police, Pensnett still feel like winners after raising £330 at the charity game. Dave then secured a further £330 in match-funding from the National Express Employee Charity Panel, boosting the overall total to almost £700. 

Dave and some of his National Express West Midlands colleagues recently visited the unit and presented a cheque for the full £660 raised to the Neonatal Consultant Subramanian Mahadevan and Karen Phillips.

With nearly 350 staff at the local bus garage, many of whom have children of their own and some having needing the specialist help and care of the neonatal unit for their newborns, Pensnett has now selected Russells Hall Hospital neonatal unit as its local community partner. The partnership means staff will work with the hospital to provide support for the neonatal unit in a range of ways, including other fundraising activities, throughout the rest of this year and next.

Lee Stockton, National Express West Midlands Assistant Operations Manager, said: “At Pensnett garage we are very proud to partner with Russells Hall Hospital’s neonatal unit. Over the course of this year and 2016 we hope to raise as much money as possible to help the unit and support the staff who work tirelessly to treat, comfort and support the babies in their care.”

Karen Phillips, Russells Hall Hospital Fundraising Manager, said: “We are so pleased that Pensnett has chosen to raise money for our neonatal unit. Charitable donations are particularly needed on this unit as it supports both our tiny patients and their parents.”

Russells Hall Hospital neonatal unit has 18 cots; three for neonatal intensive care, two for high dependency and 13 special care cots. There are also three cubicles for babies who require isolation. The unit has two flats with kitchen facilities where parents are offered the opportunity to stay prior to discharge to care for their baby independently, with advice and support from the neonatal team.

The National Express Employee Charity Panel supports employees in their own charitable work. The Panel is made up of staff from around the National Express business who meet quarterly to review employee applications and decide which good causes they will support. The Panel awarded almost £17,000 to 65 charities and organisations actively supported by employees throughout 2014.

Published 10th August 2015