Love Your Hospital’s Eyeconic Ball raises more than £27,000 for new a new state-of-the-art eye care unit opening at Southlands Hospital in Shoreham in June 2017.
Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity for Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, held the Eyeconic Ball on 17 June at The Grand in Brighton with the aim of raising funds for patient facilities and new equipment for the unit.
Western Sussex Eye Care | Southlands, due to open on 27 June, is part of a multi-million-pound investment by the trust and will provide access to some of the best assessment and surgical facilities in the country. Ophthalmology specialists from the Trust have been working with patients, architects and developers to create new and more patient-centred facilities at the hospital.
Amanda Tucker, head of charity for Love Your Hospital, said the night had been a great success.
She said: “As this was Love Your Hospitals inaugural ball, we have been overwhelmed by the positive comments both on and after the evening, not to mention the significant support we received in putting this event together. We are beholden to our clinical staff, the local community and a number of key Individuals whom without their input this event would never have been possible.
“All the money raised will go to support the Love Your Hospital ‘Our Vision, Your Sight’ appeal which supports our clinical teams in delivering outstanding eye care, and will make a difference to thousands of local residents living with limiting eye conditions.”
Local singing group, PZAZZ, who are mainly made up of staff from St Richard’s Hospital and supporters of Love Your Hospital, entertained guests during a champagne reception before dinner.
Masoud Teimory, Ophthalmology Consultant for the Trust, thanked all for attending the ball and said he hoped the unit will act as a catalyst for improvement in eye care in West Sussex and beyond.
He said: “The shared vision of my colleagues at all levels at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has resulted in us being able to offer the highest quality eye care while utilising the latest technology at our new unit in Southlands.”
Members of Western Sussex Hospitals executive team were also in attendance at the ball including the Trust’s Chief Executive Marianne Griffiths. She spoke to guests about the need to provide patients with the best-quality eye care in the UK as one of only five acute hospital trusts in the country to be awarded the health watchdog’s highest rating of outstanding.
Fellow guest speaker, Jamie Fitzjohn, who was diagnosed with an inherited eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa when he was just 18 years old is now a County Councillor for Chichester South, and the only registered blind semi-professional ice hockey coach in the world. He spoke about the anguish of coming to terms with his gradual sight loss and determination to not let him define his life.
He said: “After diagnosing my eye condition, the consultant told me three things would happen. I would never drive a car, I’d never have children and I’d be blind by the time I hit 30. Afterwards, I went to a very dark place. A year later, I woke up one morning and decided this condition wasn’t going to beat me. This new unit provide patients young and old with a support system and access to people who actually care and can give them guidance after diagnosis.”
Eight-piece band The Blunter Brothers played Classic funk, Motown and Soul into the wee hours and main sponsors of the event were Kier Construction and Rayner Intraocular Lenses Limited.
To date the charity has raised more than £57,000 for the #OurVisionYourSight appeal.
To find out more visit www.loveyourhospital.org/vision
Image: Buzz Photography