Taking a dip to raise cash for Queen Alexandra Hospital’s Rocky Appeal

CHALLENGE Simon Toh, front, and Steve Freeman, left, Tony Reece, Rob Halkett, Jim Dickson, Dave Taylor, Jamie Anderson and Sarah Lawrence have all volunteered to swim across the Solent for the Rocky Appeal.     Picture: Ian Hargreaves (112034-1)
CHALLENGE Simon Toh, front, and Steve Freeman, left, Tony Reece, Rob Halkett, Jim Dickson, Dave Taylor, Jamie Anderson and Sarah Lawrence have all volunteered to swim across the Solent for the Rocky Appeal. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (112034-1)

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FUNDRAISERS are going to be making a splash in the Solent to help raise cash for a hospital appeal.

Hospital doctors, nurses and past patients are to take part in a charity swim from the Isle of Wight to Southsea beach, to help the Rocky Appeal fund a new state-of-the-art digital keyhole operating theatre at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham. Twenty-two swimmers will be taking part in the five-mile swim, with some doing the whole thing and others swimming stages in a relay team.

QA consultant Simon Toh, said: ‘I’ll be part of a relay team. We’ve been training for the swim for a while now and we’re all really looking forward to the challenge and raising money for such a vital cause.’

The swim is one of many fundraisers which is helping the Rocky Appeal reach its £3m fundraising target to fund a range of new space-age theatres at QA.

So far about £1.5m has been raised and funded two theatres, advanced equipment which screens through the organ walls for cancer, and a training centre for surgeons to learn the skill of digital keyhole surgery.

The third theatre – which will be for treating bone problems such as fractures and repairs, will cost about £400,000.

Rocky Appeal co-ordinator Mick Lyons says another £100,000 needs to be raised.

He said: ‘We’re almost there for the third theatre, we’ve just got a bit more to go now. But it’s in our sights so we really want to push the appeal and get the rest of the money because every day we don’t have this unit, it’s another day someone can’t get treated with this amazing digital keyhole surgery.’

He added: ‘The new bones theatre will be the first of its kind in England. It will be an amazing thing for QA and will benefit thousands.

‘The swim will help get us closer to the target and we’d love it if people could sponsor those taking part.’

Mr Lyons hopes to have raised all the money for the new theatre and have it up and running by the autumn.

He added: ‘We want to have it open before winter because that’s when people have slips and trips and need their bones repairing.’

The sponsored swim across the Solent will take place on July 24.

If you would like to sponsor the swimmers contact Mr Lyons on (023) 9228 6487 or email mick.lyons@porthosp.nhs.uk.

For more information go to porthosp.nhs.uk/rocky-appeal.html.