Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has backed the Independent’s Give to GOSH appeal with a heartfelt tribute to the generosity of reader and the great work of the hospital’s staff and volunteers.
The endorsement from the former member of the Fab Four comes at the start of the final week of the appeal for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), which has already smashed all previous records for our seasonal appeal by raising more than £3m.
In a video message he has updated his 1967 hit “When I’m Sixty-Four” in honour of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
He said: “This is Paul McCartney here and this is a message on behalf of the Great Ormond Street Hospital. I want to thank everybody who has donated to their latest campaign and has given money to keep this great hospital and the great work it does going.”
Sir Paul has a long history of supporting GOSH, including a paying surprise visit to the wards, performing karaoke sessions with patients and attending the hospital's annual Christmas party for patients.
Great Ormond Street Hospital's history
Great Ormond Street Hospital's history
'Treating rickets, 1920': This image of two children in protective eyewear in front of an ultraviolet screen was used in the 1930s to encourage donations to the hospital's redevelopment
The Children’s Hospital School, which had opened with just one teacher, 1951
Staff and patients celebrate Christmas on Dresden Ward, which opened in 1893 after a large endowment from a London businessman
'Lady Folkestone cot, 1880s' shows a child in a bed with the name of the viscountess who sponsored her cot. The idea of cot sponsorship had begun just over a decade earlier, in 1868
Mrs Francis Willey, the hospital’s first matron, appointed two months before GOSH opened, 1851
The hospital’s nurses’ home, 1914
An operating theatre, circa 1930
Patients with lung conditions or infectious disease were wheeled on to the balcony for fresh air, 1920s. 'Images such as the balcony scene would have been used to show that the buildings were becoming antiquated and in need of replacement,' says Baldwin. 'The idea was to encourage people to donate towards maintenance, which was a constant concern.'
The RAF Cranwell cot, funded from 1920 by a base in Lincolnshire
GOSH acquired its first X-ray machine in 1903
GOSH chaplain and Beatles fan Jim Linthicum said: “Sir Paul McCartney is a genius as a musician and I have so much respect for him. He transcends the generations with his music and keeps us young. It’s a real honour to to get a birthday message from such a legend . Sir Paul has touched so many people throughout the years with his music, a bit like GOSH which also touches everybody, so it seems fitting to have him supporting the Give To GOSH appeal.”
The endorsement of the appeal from Sir Paul follows high-profile celebrity endorsement and corporate donations, including Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada and Trailfinders. It also comes as the campaign enters its final week, ending this Sunday on GOSH’s 164th birthday. A party will be held this week for patients and the dedicated staff and volunteers who care for them.
Sir Paul continued: “I also want to congratulate the hospital itself on its 164th anniversary. Wow. Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 164?”
The Beatles recorded “When I’m Sixty-Four” for the 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. At the time GOSH was already 115 years old and doctors at the hospital were leading the first UK clinical trials of the rubella vaccine. Within a year 110 children had been vaccinated and within three-years a UK-wide immunisation programme was rolled out for the disease. This is just one of the medical advances made at GOSH during its 164 year history, including major advances in paediatric heart surgery, gene therapy and the treatment of epilepsy.
Over the course of its 164 year history GOSH has been transformed from a 10-bed hospital for sick children into a world-leading medical-research establishment which deals with more than 255,000 patient visits every year.
Until the hospital was founded in 1852, when it was known The Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street, there was not hospital in Britain dedicated solely to the treatment of children. It started in a converted townhouse with just two doctors, but by the end of the hospital’s first year, the number of beds had already trebled and throughout its history it relied on charitable donations to expand, including the 1986 Wishing Well Appeal for the hospital’s current building.
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