Rotherham Hospital Charity launches new Tiny Toes Appeal

As celebrations begin nationally to mark the NHS’ 75th birthday, the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity is challenging you to mark the incredible milestone too.

Charities have played an essential role in supporting the NHS throughout its history, with more than 230 collectively giving over £1m to the NHS every day so that people can stay well for longer, patients can get better faster and to support staff health and wellbeing.

Fundraisers have been supporting the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity for more than 25 years. Your donations have helped to fund resources, equipment and projects which are above and beyond what the NHS can provide, and which make a huge difference to the experience people of all ages have when they receive NHS care.

In April, thanks to donations to the charity’s Purple Butterfly campaign, the new Snowdrop Suite opened on the labour ward at Rotherham Hospital. This private bereavement room is for parents who sadly lose a baby, allowing them to spend precious time together when it really matters the most.

Earlier this summer, a new pirate-themed outdoor playground opened for young patients on the children’s ward, again paid for by generous donations to the charity’s Dr Ted appeal.

Funds have also been invested in artwork, refreshments for afternoon tea parties for hospital patients, and sensory resources for people with autism, learning disabilities and dementia.

The charity also supports unique staff initiatives, such as Coat Rack, which collects second-hand coats for patients who need something warm to wear when they return home.

Rotherham’s tiniest hospital patients have inspired the charity’s latest fundraising campaign. The Tiny Toes appeal will raise money to fund the redevelopment of the neonatal unit.

The existing ward and its caring and compassionate staff are highly praised by families, but the facilities need upgrading to ensure their excellent standard of care can continue for future generations.

Rotherham’s neonatal unit, which many people know as the Special Care Baby Unit, cares for babies born from 27 weeks who might spend a few days or weeks on the ward, but occasionally this could be up to six months. 

The current neonatal unit at Rotherham Hospital

The unit has separate high dependency and intensive care rooms for the most poorly babies who need round-the-clock care. There are also cubicles and two nurseries which are used to nurse those babies who are almost ready to go home.

The appeal will raise funds to make the unit more homely as parents can often spend longer in hospital than at home during that first chapter of their child’s life. Plans include an overhaul of the family rooms, with new soft furnishings, furniture, modern showers and kitchen facilities.

Jessica Kendall, from Doncaster, spent five weeks on the neonatal ward with her twin daughters Frankie and Lottie when they were born prematurely. The girls were born at 32 weeks in January 2022 in Manchester before being transferred to Rotherham to be closer to home.

She said: “We knew Frankie and Lottie would be born early, but we weren’t prepared for how early they did arrive. Rotherham was the closest unit with two cots available and they needed help with their feeding and breathing. Lottie weighed just 2lb 10 and Frankie was 3lb 6.

“The care we received was exemplary and I felt the staff really knew the girls’ individual personalities. I spent a lot of time in the breakout room and watching Bargain Hunt always reminds me of my time on the ward! It was heart-wrenching leaving them on the unit to go home and look after their big brother Freddie, so I think parents will value a space that feels homely and comforting for their little ones.”

Jessica and her partner Ashley with their twin daughters Frankie and Lottie – vs the girls now

Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity is thankful to all individuals, businesses, schools and community groups who have supported them over the years, whether that’s through financial donations or giving their time to volunteer.

But to coincide with the NHS’ 75th birthday, now is the perfect time to get involved. If you also have a big birthday coming up in 2023, why not ask for donations to the charity in lieu of gifts?

If you are a daredevil at heart or like a challenge, the charity hosts various events throughout the year such as sponsored skydives, a fire and glass walk, and the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Or you can simply donate to the Tiny Toes appeal from the comfort of your sofa via Just Giving:  

For more information about the charity call 01709 426821 or email