GEM Appeal charity receives £1,000 towards equipment for Manchester Children’s Hospital's genetics trust

Date published: 07 January 2020

The GEM Appeal charity, which helps fund research into genetic conditions, has received £1,000 towards a vital piece of equipment for Manchester Children’s Hospital, after being named one of Persimmon Homes North West’s Community Champions.

The donation will go towards funding a £175,000 Tecan machine for the hospital’s genetics trust, which prepares and arranges blood samples for analysis.

The GEM Appeal raises money to fund research and find cures for genetic diseases, and was founded in 1994 by Karen Johnson, from Rochdale, whose sons, Simon and Mikey, were born with Hunter Syndrome. Tragically, both boys lost their lives to the incurable disease at the age of 12, but their names live on in the Willink Unit laboratory at Manchester Children’s Hospital.

To date, the GEM Appeal, which last year received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, has raised a staggering total of over £3 million.

Wendy Mills, charity fundraiser for the GEM Appeal, said: “Thank you so much Persimmon Homes for choosing The GEM Appeal for your charity donation; your generosity is a big boost to our funds.

“We have now raised more than £3m which has helped build a Research and Treatment unit for The Willink Unit at Manchester Children’s Hospital and helped with the purchase of medical equipment.

“Our current target is £175,000 to buy a Tecan machine for Manchester Children’s Hospital Genetics Trust, which prepares and arranges blood samples for analysis and we have already passed the £80,000 mark.”

Fundraising events held last year included a fashion show, the annual Strawberry Sparkle lunch, a Sax ‘n’ Supper night, taking part in the Manchester Run and Rochdale 10k, as well as a Magical Castle Ball hosted by GEM Appeal patron Denise Welch, which saw celebrities and guests drum up another £45,000 for the charity.

Dave Hodgson, sales director for Persimmon Homes North West, added: “It is an absolute pleasure to once again be able to help The GEM Appeal buy another specialised piece of equipment for Manchester Children’s Hospital.

“We know that it will go a long way to helping children born with genetic disorders and their families.”

The Community Champions is a national programme where charities and groups can apply for funding up to the value of £1,000 to match funds they have raised themselves.

Persimmon Homes North West previously donated £1,000 to the GEM Appeal in 2017, which went towards a Tandem Mass Spectrometer to detect genetic disorders.

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