Concern for Life working for St Richard’s Hospital

A LOCAL charity has been quietly working since 1979 to raise vital funds for children at St Richard’s Hospital.

Concern for Life is a Chichester-based charity run by five women, donating around £150,000 since starting up more than 30 years ago. Rosamund Gentle set up the charity with a friend who was a nurse on the children’s ward.

They started by collecting £5,000 for an oxygen monitor and, from there, became a registered charity so they could continue on their mission to support children and babies in need of life-saving equipment.

Rosamund said: “There were fewer local charities when we started out, so people were keen to support us. Fundraising was a lot easier as there was less competition.

“We bought toys for the children’s waiting area in the A&E department, and built two buildings for parents who had children staying overnight in the hospital, as there was nowhere for mothers to stay to be near their children.

“We raised £30,000 for the mothers units, which were opened in 1983 by Princess Alexandra.

“The units have now been demolished but we also bought supplies for children with learning disabilities, physio equipment and items for the children’s playroom.”

The charity has since had to scale down its efforts due to some fundraising events becoming too expensive.

However, it is still able to make a difference. More recently, the group was able to buy apnea monitors for the neonatal unit and a television for the parent’s room.

It holds an annual coffee morning, raising around £1,500.

“If people are kind enough to pledge funds, we will always find a project to give the money to,” said Rosamund.