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Premier appeal

Reporter: Marina Berry
Date online: 13 May 2011

FORMER Manchester United and England defender Phil Neville came to Oldham yesterday to launch a new £50,000 charity appeal.

The Everton skipper was at the Royal Oldham Hospital to kick-start a fundraising frenzy to help fit out the borough’s new £44 million Women and Children’s unit.

He was enlisted to the cause by his father-in-law, businessman Bob Killelea, who is supplying the steel for the building.

He is one of the sub-contractors who has joined forces with project developers VINCI Construction UK to pledge £50,000 towards the £200,000 In Your Hands appeal.

Launched by Pennine Acute Trust, which runs the Royal Oldham, and supported by children’s charity MedEquip4Kids, the appeal hopes to reach its target by early 2013, and will pay for life-saving equipment for babies.

Neville, a father-of-two, unveiled a fundraising thermometer at the hospital site which will keep track of the cash as the mercury rises towards the contractors’ £50,000 target.

He told the Chronicle: “It’s such a good cause that it was no problem at all for me to support it.

“I am a patron of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, and I know how much it means for causes to get support, particularly where children are involved.”

Fundraising starts on Sunday when a team of construction workers take part in the Great Manchester 10K Run, with plans for everything from a casino dinner and a summer ball to a sponsored swim across Lake Windermere in the pipeline.

VINCI Construction and its sub-contractors often support the projects they work on, and did some fundraising for the Christie at Oldham appeal, but this is their most ambitious project yet.

Architect Liz Dunger, who works on the project for Taylor Young, said: “This will be a supercentre for women and children and very poorly babies and we want it to be very well-equipped with the latest equipment.”

Fundraising will be supported by a host of local companies, including Westoak Construction, James Killelea and Co Ltd, Taylor Young, Dragonfly, LPL, F Brierley & Son Ltd, The Alan Johnston Partnership, NG Bailey and Wigan & Leigh College.


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