Scrap metal helps council to support fundraising efforts at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity

Published: Wednesday, 31st May 2023

Efforts to raise funds for new intraoperative MRI technology at Birmingham Children’s Hospital have been boosted by a £5,000 donation, co-ordinated by a city council employee.

The money was raised in partnership with Hayward and Cook – a local scrap metal merchant that removed materials from the council’s Montague Street waste depot as part of the transfer of services to the new Atlas Works depot, opened earlier this month.

And the idea of donating to the hospital was suggested by Street Scene Service Manager Wayne Chivers – whose nine-year-old- granddaughter Penny was a patient there, having had a kidney transplant.

The funds will go towards Birmingham Children Hospital Charity’s £1.5million iMRI Appeal, to bring intraoperative MRI technology to the hospital, which will transform life-changing brain surgery.

Currently the hospital’s neurosurgeons rely on pre-operative images to identify tumours in a patient’s brain. During surgery the brain, which is soft, will change shape. This means, very quickly, the pre-operative information becomes outdated, making it less reliable. With iMRI technology, an MRI scanner is moved directly to a patient on an operating table, or a patient to the scanner, to ensure surgeons can obtain ‘live’ and up-to-date information about the position of the tumour.  

Birmingham Children’s Hospital is the only major paediatric neurosurgical centre in the UK without an iMRI scanner. The £1.5million iMRI Appeal will bring this state-of-the-art technology to patients for the first time.

Stuart Powell, father of Penny, said: “As a family, we’ve done a bit of fundraising over the years for the Children’s Hospital, so when her grandfather suggested this through his work contacts, we thought it was an amazing idea and a wonderful gesture from all concerned.

Approximately 120 tonnes of metal was recycled by Haywood and Cook – who topped up the amount generated from the materials to the round figure of £5,000.

Spencer Bailey, the firm’s director, said: “It’s a great cause and when we were asked to help with the removal of materials from the council’s old depot, this charitable donation was something we were delighted to assist with.”

The funds were ceremonially handed over during a cheque presentation ceremony at the hospital on Tuesday (May 30).

Will Graves, regional fundraiser at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We’re so grateful to the council, Haywood and Cook, as well as Wayne, Stephen and Penny for raising funds for our hospital and, in particular, for our iMRI Appeal.

“The need for state-of-the-art intraoperative MRI technology is simple. It allows our neurosurgeons to accurately and confidently identify, during a surgical procedure, whether they have removed all the tumour, right when they need the information the most. It will make a massive difference to so many of our young patients with tumours and epilepsy, as well as their families, who so often have to wait longer than they should to find out if the surgery has been successful.”

Cllr Majid Mahmood, Cabinet Member for Environment at Birmingham City Council, was also on hand for the ceremony.

He added: “It’s great that the council has been able to support such a worthy cause in this way.

“The opening of our new super-depot at Atlas Works is all about delivering the best possible street scene services for the people of Birmingham – but we are always looking at how such projects can deliver a wider community benefit.

“This donation is a great example of how we can enable positive things for our valued partners such as the NHS.”

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