We have four Partner Charities
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
Institute in the Park
University of Derby
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital cares for over 330,000 children, young people and their families every year treating everything from common illnesses to highly complex and specialist conditions. Patients range from birth to 21 years of age. The majority (70%) of the patients come from the North West but Alder Hey is a national hospital treating patients from across the UK and occasionally internationally.
In 2015 a state-of-the-art hospital was opened alongside a brand new research, innovation and education centre. Alder Hey in the Park delivers excellent care in the best possible healing environment for children and their families. What is probably not appreciated is that the NHS does not fund the full cost of the hospital and charitable giving plays an important role. Since October 2013, the Alder Hey Charity has invested over £25million into the new hospital, funding a range of life-saving medical equipment and facilities that are making a real difference to families every day.
Major facilities continue to be built. Sunflower House and the Catkin Centre opened in 2022 providing both specialist inpatient and outpatient care for children with complex mental health needs. Again this has been partly funded through charitable donations. The next big project is to build a state-of-the-art surgical neonatal unit costing £20m of which over £3m will need to be raised through charitable giving.
A children’s hospital is different and that means the challenge is more than just treating an illness. Every child is an individual. In addition to giving them the very best care, it is important to make them feel happy, safe and confident as they play, learn and grow. Alder Hey in looking after children also embraces their families – the mums, dads, brothers and sisters.
For over 100 years, Alder Hey has been providing innovative high quality care for children and young people. They continue to drive innovation in paediatric healthcare within their Innovation Hub. The Innovation Hub is a dedicated space where clinicians and industries can come together to create new products and technologies.
Alder Hey also delivers exciting training opportunities to enhance the skills and knowledge of those looking after children and young people. It has an international reputation for educating paediatric clinicians of the future, with more than 500 medical and 400 nursing students a year.
The needs of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital cannot be fully met by the NHS and a significant amount of much needed equipment is funded through charitable giving. Alder Hey Children’s Charity raises money to fund life-saving medical equipment, pioneering research and high-quality family facilities to make the patient experience at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital the very best.
Our Foundation contacted Alder Hey Childrens Hospital soon after we were founded to explore how we could help. We made our first grant in 2015. The relationship has grown and strengthened as we have together addressed some of the challenges the hospital faces. We have funded a range of projects which all focus on making patient treatment better. Alder Hey is a corner stone of the Partner Charity family.
Institute in the Park working with Alder Hey Childrens Hospital on the same complex has a thriving research portfolio and leads research into children’s medicines, infection, inflammation and oncology. It is becoming recognised as one of the world’s leaders in children’s healthcare and research. Their work contributes to public health, cutting-edge research and supporting the next generation of children’s specialists.
Alder Hey and the University of Liverpool officially opened the first phase of a dedicated research, education and innovation centre, ‘Institute in the Park’, in March 2016.
The ‘Institute in the Park’ is a major catalyst for making a significant step change in children’s healthcare that will impact regionally, nationally and internationally. It brings together outstanding leadership and expertise in multi-disciplinary education, research and innovation, all focused together on improving the care and understanding of children and their health needs.
Practicing an open-innovation approach where people can collaborate freely, the Institute is occupied by academic researchers, healthcare professionals, technology companies, commercial research teams, students and educators.
The unique co-location of the Institute within one of Europe’s busiest children’s hospitals means that every child and all the healthcare professionals that care for them will have the opportunity to routinely participate in studies.
The ‘Institute in the Park’ is built on a solid foundation; it hosts part of the National Co-ordinating Centre of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN), responsible for all children’s research across the country and hosts national centres of excellence in research across many disciplines including childhood infections, respiratory disorders, cancer, neurodisability, international health, musculoskeletal diseases and the UK’s only Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for children. It also supports the outstanding NIHR Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility for studies of new treatment for children. Teams of biomedical researchers are searching for new better and safer medicines for children and developing new formulations of medicines especially for children.
We have supported Institute in the Park since 2016 and have developed a strong, collaborative and productive relationship. We have made grants to fund specialist equipment that will improve their research into childhood illnesses. We are both committed to building on what we have already achieved. This is a partnership for the long term.
One of the biggest challenges facing us individually, as society and indeed across the world is the how we tackle the devastating impact of dementia. Some figures may help us to understand the scale and momentum of the problem. In the UK it is estimated that 944,000 people are living with dementia and 520,000 have been diagnosed. By 2030 that increases to 1m and 1.6m by 2050. We have a 1 in 14 chance of developing dementia by the age of 65 which increases to 1 in 6 by the age of 80. There is currently no cure.
Professor Myra Conway and her team have been undertaking research into Alzheimer’s disease for some time. We met her when she was at the University of West of England in Bristol. At that time the research programme focused on understanding the metabolic link between type II diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. We have supported her research in 2019 and 2021. In 2022 she took up an appointment as University Lead for Biomedical and Clinical Science and set up a new research capability continuing her work into Alzheimer’s disease. We readily agreed to continue our support.
University of Derby has an enviable record in research across a range of disciplines and programmes. We believe the university’s commitment to Myra’s research will be hugely beneficial.
The research programme underway at Derby is to understand the underlying pathology of Alzheimer’s disease and identification of novel markers of disease pathology. There are 4 main research strands:
1. Understanding the link between Type II diabetes (T2D) and AD. This continues earlier work at UWE
2. Understanding how diet can regulate protein misfolding/clearance (termed autophagy) in the brain of subjects with AD. This is part of research being undertaken across the world into life style considerations.
3.Identification of novel blood markers that can differentiate between individuals that have MCI related to AD relative to normal ageing.
4.Identification of novel signalling pathways aligned with AD pathology – offering new therapeutic targets.
This work is an important part of the Foundation’s strategy and philosophy. We have built a strong relationship with Professor Conway and her team which gives us the confidence to support her work over the long term. The University of Derby development further underpins the importance and credibility attached to Myra’s work. Being a Partner Charity gives us both the ability to plan constructively. This is another relationship for the long term.
Stockdales provides person centred care and support for the welfare of children and adults with learning and multiple physical disabilities living in the Trafford area of Manchester. The charity traces its roots back to 1953 and its purpose remains the same. It is dedicated to making a difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities and complex health needs. Each person they support is special and unique. The team works hard to help people become the best they can be, supporting them to develop their skills, experiences and confidence. There is a strong focus on learning, social time and being as independent as possible. Their services also are an invaluable lifeline to families, offering much needed respite.
There are four main areas to their work.
1. Residential Services offering round the clock care to people with high needs. Stockdales have five houses catering for 25 people so they can live like everyone else at home but also with the confidence to have a full life beyond the front door.
2 . Community Services which supports over 200 people through programmes such as activity sessions learning about such topics as IT to running a café. There are great days out that are so important. The care support service enables people to remain in their homes and preserve their independence.
3. “Our Clubs” embraces children’s activities ,which are growing all the time, and cover playing games, dressing up and enjoying what technology can give them. The adults have a great choice of social clubs from catching up with mates, watching films, going to the pub and enjoying a nice takeaway.
4. Dream Days. Dreams, the fourth area of support, which gives hope and something to look forward to. It’s the chance to have a magical experience whilst creating lasting and treasured memories. This is what the Dream Days project is all about. It’s a special ‘wish’ based project that helps children, young people and adults with learning disabilities to make their dreams come true. Something they can cherish forever, however long their journey.
This charity and all its staff and volunteers are hugely dedicated to meeting the challenges. It is proud to have an open and honest approach to care. All voices are heard which means people live the lives they want. They help with the things that most people take for granted, such as getting up and ready, deciding what to eat, shopping, cooking and going to bed. People are supported to do their hobbies, interests and the social side of things too. Quality time with friends and family is another important ingredient . Add holidays and you can safely say that people have the same experiences as everyone else and that’s what success looks like.
Inviting Stockdales to become a Partner Charity was one of the easiest decisions we have made, not just because of the nature of their work but also how they go about making a difference to the lives of disabled children and adults. Their plans for the next ten years are exciting and we will be with them every step of this very challenging way.