Creating brighter futures
Here at Alder Hey Children’s Charity, gifts left in wills by our kind supporters are transforming the lives of our young patients and helping develop crucial new treatments and technology.
You don’t have to be a millionaire or put a dent in your children’s inheritance to contribute, even 1% of your estate would make the world of difference and could help fund state-of-the-art medical equipment or create magical ward experiences during a child’s time at Alder Hey .
As an NHS charity, our funds come entirely from donations, events and from gifts in wills, contributed by a nation of caring people. People like you, who want to leave a lasting mark, a parting gift that will create a brighter future for the next generation.
For the first few years of Daniel Bell’s life, he was like any other toddler. Full of energy, happy and full of life at home in Ormskirk. But doctors soon discovered Daniel had a brain tumour the size of a fist. Find out how Daniel was successfully treated with pioneering technology made possible by generous donations .
At aged three, mum Rosalind and dad Colin noticed a change in Daniel’s behaviour. He wasn’t the same happy-go-lucky toddler he used to be. Rosalind explains “His personality literally changed. He was grumpy, had lots of tantrums, was sick and went back to sleeping in the day too, which was the total opposite of what he was previously.”
Thankfully Rosalind recognised some of the symptoms of a brain tumour. Daniel was taken to Ormskirk A&E, who quickly realised the severity of the situation and Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Daniel was rushed straight to Alder Hey, which is a centre of excellence for brain conditions. “It was like the bottom had fallen out of my world; our lives changed in a split second. We were told he needed to go to Alder Hey right away and we were blue-lighted to Liverpool,” says Rosalind.
Once at Alder Hey, Daniel was taken straight to theatre, where Neurosurgeon Ms Sasha Burns drained fluid on his brain during a 3 hour life-saving operation. The next day, Daniel’s tumour was removed during a 9 hour operation by Professor Conor Mallucci, who had rushed back from London to perform the procedure.
“Professor Mallucci told us that Daniel had a cystic tumour which was the size of an adult’s fist and there was a possibility of Daniel losing motor and mobility skills as the result of the procedure,” explained Rosalind.
Yet Daniel’s operation was a success, made possible by the use of Alder Hey’s 3-T MRI scanner, a pioneering scanner which allows surgeons to scan the brain in theatre. Alder Hey is the first hospital in Europe to have this technology, which was fully funded by Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
Professor Mallucci successfully managed to remove the whole of Daniel’s tumour and after two weeks in Alder Hey, Daniel went home.
Rosalind added: “Daniel is now a happy, healthy and very active little boy who loves being with his friends, playing Minecraft and raising money for Alder Hey Children’s Charity.”
The surgeon behind Daniel’s life-saving surgery was world-renowned paediatric neurosurgeon, Professor Conor Mallucci. Conor understands as well as anyone the impact a brain tumour can have on a child as well as their family, and is grateful for the outstanding medical equipment he has at his disposal at Alder Hey.
“If you can imagine having a child in the family diagnosed with a brain tumour, it changes not only their own lives but their whole family’s life.
Here at Alder Hey, we were the first children’s hospital to have an intraoperative MRI scanner for brain tumours, the technology I used to understand and help remove Daniel’s tumour. We’ve become world leaders with this crucial technology and have saved many, many children’s lives.”
This state-of-the-art piece of equipment was fully funded by the charity and has placed Alder Hey as a world leader in the use of this technology for children.
As Conor explained: “We published a paper which showed that in 15% of brain tumours in all the children who we have operated on since having the intraoperative MRI scanner, we were able to do a complete resection - that’s 15% more lives saved. Alder Hey really was able to lead with this technology and it was something that could not have been achieved through any other route than a charitable donation.”
This life-saving piece of technology continues to have a major impact more than a decade after charitable gifts made its purchase possible. Thanks to the generosity of people like you, the intraoperative MRI scanner is creating brighter futures for children like Daniel and their families from all over the world.
Will-writing and editing
If you’ve never had a will, the idea of having one created can seem like a daunting prospect. How does it work? Does someone need to do it for you? Where do I start?
Well, don’t fret, we’ve answered many of the queries and questions people have about writing or editing wills in our handy FAQ section below. And you’ll also find our recommended suppliers of free will-writing services to help you get started.
5 Key Steps
● Create a list of what to leave and to whom
● Choose and ask at least two people you trust to be executors
● Speak to a solicitor or will-writing expert to have your will drawn up
● Keep your will safe and secure (ideally with your solicitor)
● Let your family know if you’ve included Alder Hey Children’s Charity in your will
We understand that everyone is different, that’s why we have partnered with trusted solicitors and will-writers to help you to write your will for free - online, over the phone or via video appointment, making it as simple and convenient as possible for you. You can start the process from the comfort of your own home.
We are happy to recommend Farewill. Farewill is the largest will writer in the UK and has won multiple awards for its service, including National Will Writing Firm of the Year 2019 and 2020 at the British Wills & Probate Awards. To use Farewill to write your will online, simply sign up and use the code 'ALDERHEY-FAMILY'
During her lifetime, Audrey Griffiths experienced the magic of Alder Hey on two occasions
Her daughter, Elizabeth, was admitted to Alder Hey as a toddler and successfully overcame a health issue. Years later, Madog, the son of a close family friend was diagnosed with leukaemia aged 2. Madog, now 7, was successfully treated at Alder Hey, and at the time of Audrey’s passing in early 2020, he was ‘out of the woods’ and now attends the hospital for check-ups twice a year.
It was these experiences that influenced Audrey’s decision to leave a gift in her will to Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
Elizabeth recalls: “My mother was a remarkable person who is much missed by me and so many others whose lives she touched. She thought carefully about her legacies and wanted to acknowledge the role played by clinicians in Alder Hey in helping not only our family but also in their support of Madog and his family.”
Audrey sadly passed away in February 2020 aged 98, but her legacy lives on in the happy, healthy futures her gift is helping to secure at Alder Hey.
Find out more about the difference Audrey made to the next generation.
Audrey’s kindness is changing the way our young patients learn to communicate.
Last year, donations, including gifts left in supporters’ wills, went towards an online communication aid for Speech and Language Therapy patients at Alder Hey.
The programme provides support for young patients with varying needs and delivers consistency between the help they receive in school and hospital. This has been so important during recent months and our clinician colleagues are really happy with how this new tool is shaping their work in supporting children. This tool has been so important in ensuring that their care could continue throughout lockdowns.
As Emma Burgess, Speech and Language Therapist, explains: “As so many of our children with communication and learning needs benefit from visuals to support their understanding and use of language, this is an invaluable tool for the Speech and Language team.”
Our Promise to You
We recognise that any gift you choose to leave in your will is special and we are proud to make the promises below to you.
When you leave a gift in your will to Alder Hey Children’s Charity we:
• Promise to use your gift wisely
• Realise you might want your gift used in a special way
• Recognise that those closest to you come first
• Understand that you might have to change your mind due to a change in personal circumstances
• Will never put pressure on you to leave a gift in your will
• Will treat you and your next of kin sensitively and with respect and gratitude
Frequently asked questions
You can write your own will, but we recommend using a qualified solicitor to make a new will or amend an existing one. Using a solicitor will give you peace of mind that your will is valid and legally sound, and that your wishes will be met. Whilst you may have your own solicitor, Alder Hey Children’s Charity is partnered with several who can start the process for you, possibly even for free - see above for details.
You may be able to record any changes simply by adding a codicil or a letter of wishes to your current will, although it is best to check with a solicitor.
A solicitor can advise you as to what type of gift you may wish to leave, but as a starting point you can provide them with our address and registered charity number.
Our registered charity number is 1160661 and our registered address is Alder Hey Children's Charity, Eaton Road, Liverpool L12 2AP.
Any gift you make to us or any UK charity is free of inheritance tax.
Should you have any questions, please do get in touch with our Legacy Manager, Emma Mochan , who will be more than happy to provide any information or reassurance you need.
Email: [email protected]