A CHARITY which works to support and bring comfort to those being treated in Bradford's hospitals is to launch two big new fundraising appeals this year.

In 'Rays a Smile', the Bradford Hospital's Charity is hoping to raise around £250,000 to transform both radiology departments at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) and St Luke’s Hospital and make them more child friendly.

The charity will fund new equipment to distract and help ease the nerves of young patients undergoing MRI scans, as well as funding a new snuggle room, which will help soothe babies to sleep before their imaging and avoid the need for general anaesthetic.

Meanwhile, the BIG Neonatal Appeal will raise money to improve the family facilities in the award-winning Neonatal Unit, with the aim of building additional bedrooms for parents to stay near their babies, and refurbish and create areas for families, providing a home-from-home. The news comes on the back of the charity celebrating spending £1.2 million last year.

From hospital equipment to items which improve quality of life, toys for younger patients to events which support patients and their families – the charity funded extras which are over and above what the NHS provides, but which have a big impact on patients.

Staff have also been supported via training and counselling to ensure they can provide the best care for their patients.

Hayley Collis, head of fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, said: “Last year was a landmark year for our charity, as we merged with the former Bradford Hospitals’ Children’s Charity – creating just one NHS hospital charity in Bradford.

“Our supporters truly put the fun into fundraising during 2018, taking part in the Bradford Dragon Boat Festival, marathons, swimathons and our first superhero abseil.

"But we still rely so much on donations and legacies to enable us to make a real difference to the experience of patients and their families who are visiting them in hospital."

She added: Thank you to every single one of you for your support during 2018.

"We will continue to strive for the very best for Bradford in 2019. We hope we can count on your support during what promises to be an exciting year. Let’s do something brilliant for Bradford."

Highlights of 2018 included supporters running the London Marathon, boxing legend Frank Bruno visiting young patients at the BRI, the transformation of a care and counselling room for cancer patients at the BRI, the first ever Neonatal Ball, which raised £15,000, and the 'Spread some sparkle for Axl' campaign to raise money for toys and specialist play equipment for children receiving treatment.