Thinking of Oscar Launches Unique Fundraiser

17 January 2019

Children’s Charity, Thinking of Oscar, has partnered with Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital as part of a fund-raising campaign to improve innovation in child health care in the UK.

Thinking of Oscar is aiming to raise a £500,000 ‘Innovation Fund’ for major UK children’s hospitals to mark its fifth anniversary. Six leading UK children’s hospitals, including Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, will collaborate on innovative projects to improve child health care and well-being with Thinking of Oscar.

The #TOO500 campaign is a 500-mile cycle ride over five days, visiting each children’s hospital it will support. Participants can choose to take part in individual days, which are approximately 100 miles each, or the whole challenge. Thinking of Oscar formally announced the challenge this week and appealed for people to take part in the unique cycling challenge.

Setting off from Oxford Children’s Hospital on June 12th #TOO500 will visit Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital. Cyclists will be greeted at each hospital by key staff.

#TOO500 aims to raise funds to invest in innovative projects and act as a catalyst for positive change in child healthcare nationally. Thinking of Oscar was set up by Hannah and David Cole in memory of their son Oscar who died suddenly and unexpectedly on June 19th 2014. They founded Thinking of Oscar with the objective of enhancing the experience of children and their families in hospital care by investing in projects and innovations within child health which have the potential to benefit children nationally.

Mrs Cole said: “#TOO500 was born out of the realisation that child health lacks both funding and focus globally. The purpose of the campaign is to drive change nationally and by linking some of the UK’s most respected children’s hospitals for #TOO500 we believe we can accelerate progress. We’re appealing for people to take part in the cycling challenge or sponsor the event to help us help others."

Mr Cole said: “Through this event, we are excited to be supporting innovation across these leading children’s hospitals. Child healthcare severely lacks funding and focus, compared to adult care. Thinking of Oscar is focused on ensuring this issue is on the agenda for decision and policy makers in the health profession and on introducing practical improvements directly.” 

Sarah Naismith, Director of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity is delighted to be working with Thinking of Oscar.  We are honoured to be part of this unique collaboration to support innovation in healthcare and wellbeing for children in hospital, not only here in Manchester and the North West, but across the UK. We would like to thank Hannah and David Cole, without whom this collaboration, in memory of their son Oscar, would not be possible and we hope that this event will be a huge success.”