The Queen says 'thank you' for giving to GOSH after appeal raises record-breaking £3.56m

Sum will support creation of a cardiac unit at Great Ormond Street and a centre for children with life-limiting illnesses

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The Independent Online

Our campaign to raise money for the vital work undertaken by Great Ormond Street Hospital has raised a record-breaking £3.56m to help critically ill children, smashing all previous records for our seasonal appeal.

The Give to GOSH appeal, which ends this weekend on GOSH’s birthday, has surpassed all expectations and will allow the staff at the hospital to continue to transform the lives of critically ill children for “generations to come”.

Dr Peter Steer, chief executive of GOSH, said all the patients and staff at the hospital were overwhelmed with the generosity of Independent readers who had supported the appeal.

He said: “When we opened our doors to The Independent back in November, at the very start of the Give to GOSH appeal, never could we have imagined the overwhelming support and generosity that would follow.

“To everyone who read our stories and who took the time to pick up the phone and pledge money, to donate online or who cut out the coupons and sent in donations, on behalf of all of the families at GOSH, and all of our wonderful staff, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you.

“The work we do at Great Ormond Street Hospital to care for some of the country’s most seriously ill children is expensive.  

“The NHS provides us with a good start, but we need additional support to remain a truly world-class children’s research hospital. Your generosity is helping us to do that.”

The news that The Independent has raised more than £3.5m came as the Queen thanked all of those readers and supporters who backed our appeal for GOSH. 

In a letter to the hospital, she wrote: “As Patron, I would like to send my very best wishes to all the patients, families and staff at Great Ormond Street and extend my thanks to its many friends, volunteers and charitable supporters who have helped make the recent Christmas campaign such a success, ensuring the hospital remains a truly extraordinary place.” 

Funds from The Independent appeal, run alongside the Evening Standard, i, and The Independent on Sunday, will support the creation of a dedicated heart unit for the sickest cardiac patients as well as supporting the vital work of the Louis Dundas Centre, which helps children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses and conducts vital world-leading research.

The success of the appeal, which finishes on Sunday, the hospital’s 164th birthday, also means the hospital will be able to carry out £1m of research into the treatment of rare diseases, as well as funding vital patient support services.

In her letter from Buckingham Palace, the Queen, who has been patron of the hospital since 1965, paid tribute to those who have helped to make our Christmas campaign such a success. 

She wrote: “Great Ormond Street Hospital was founded in 1852. Ever since, the hospital has been dedicated to caring for some of the nation’s most seriously ill children, whilst seeking new and better treatments and training future generations of child health practitioners. 

“As one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals, Great Ormond Street offers a beacon of hope to thousands of children from across the UK and beyond every year.”