O2 Slough staff to support Wexham Park Hospital as project of choice for 2008

18 February 2008 – Staff at O2 in Slough will be raising funds to help transform ward gardens and courtyards at Wexham Park Hospital over the next year. Since the start of the year Slough O2 staff have been nominating local projects for which they want to support throughout 2008. Four projects Longridge, Rotunda Community Centre, Slough Young People’s Centre and Wexham Hospital were short-listed and 650 O2 staff voted for their favourite. And Wexham Park Hospital came first with 35% of the vote. As O2’s site community project for the year staff will be helping to improve the garden and paving areas in the hospital, which are used by staff, patients and visitors to relax away from the ward. Steve Bartholomew, who heads up the O2 fundraising Community Crew on site, said: “I am delighted that we will be supporting Wexham Park Hospital over the coming year and I know our staff are excited about getting on with raising as much cash as they can for the project. Working with a local project makes the result of fundraising even more special, but we are also looking forward to rolling our sleeves up and becoming directly involved in the project as well. “Deciding which project to work with was extremely hard and I would like to wish all the finalists every success. I am sure the £1000 donation we have given to each runner up organisation will help them towards making their plans a reality.” Tricia Wright, Voluntary Services Coordinator for Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were thrilled to bits to learn that we had been chosen. We are lucky that we have gardens attached to all our wards, but we don’t have the staff or resources to maintain them. This money will help us to create attractive courtyard retreats which can be enjoyed by patients, visitors and staff not only today, but for many years to come.’ Colin Hayton, Chief Executive said : “I would like to thank the staff of O2 for voting for Wexham Park Hospital to be the recipient of this brilliant scheme. The garden areas around the hospital are extremely important for patients and staff and do make a big difference to how patients feel about their stay in hospital and to staff morale. An investment of this size will make a big difference.” The decision to support a local project marks a step change in the way O2 raises funds for charity. For the past three years the company have worked with a single UK charity partner but decided to give staff at its five main sites across the country the opportunity to raise cash for a charity of their choice, in their local area. The Big Site Project aims to raise over £15,000 Wexham Park Hospital and is part of the wider It’s Your Community programme, which allows groups, organisations and charities to apply for awards ranging from £100 to £1000 to make a difference within communities. As part of the decision process the three runners up will be given a £1,000 It’s Your Community award as recognition of their fantastic projects. For every online and text vote cast O2 gave a donation of 50p to the chosen project. – ends –