Ben Francis Announced as Charity’s First-Ever Patron Ben Francis has become Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity’s first-ever Patron. The patronage honours the British entrepreneur’s passion for the NHS, his desire to help those in need as well as his love and enthusiasm to promote Birmingham to the world. A key moment in the charity’s evolution, Bromsgrove-born Ben is the perfect choice for its first-ever Patron. Over the last 12 months Ben has built a strong relationship with Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity, both personally and professionally, through the fitness community and apparel brand, Gymshark, which pledged to support the charity from the onset of the pandemic. Last year, Gymshark donated a staggering £180,000 to the charity after thousands of people answered Ben’s brand’s rallying cry to get their ‘sweat on’ as part of its #NHSSweatySelfie challenge. For every selfie uploaded, of which there were almost 36,000, Gymshark donated £5 to the charity. Now, driven by his aspiration to give back, Ben, who is proud of his roots, will work with Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity to achieve its mission to improve the lives of women, babies, children and families – regionally, nationally and internationally. As Patron, Ben will help the charity to raise awareness and the much-needed funds to enable the hospital and its staff to continually be at the forefront of what is possible, in order to make a real difference to all who use the hospitals’ services. The Chairman of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and its Charity, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, former Medical Director of the NHS in England, said: “We are absolutely thrilled Ben has agreed to accept this prestigious role. “Our charity is vital in supporting our hospitals’ surgeons, physicians and nurses to push boundaries and deliver world-leading research, treatment and care to our brave patients. “As the need and importance of our charity continues to grow we have ambitious plans to increase the impact of our work – both here in the Midlands, across the UK and beyond – so that we can do more for the women, children and families in our care. Ben is the perfect champion to keep us inspired to achieve and deliver our vision.” On accepting the invitation, Ben said: “I’ve long been in awe of the incredible work of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals. My Mum has worked as a nurse at the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham all of my life, so I know first-hand how unbelievably hardworking they are and the impact they have on so many people. When the guys at the charity approached me about becoming a Patron, I accepted without hesitation. I look forward to working with them to continue to raise awareness and funds for this amazing charity.” Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is the first of its kind in the UK, expertly delivering family-centred care through Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital. Collectively the two hospitals care for over 140,000 women, children, young people and their families from across the region and the UK each year. Birmingham Women’s Hospital is one of only two dedicated women’s hospitals in the UK and boasts the busiest single site maternity unit, birthing approximately 8,200 babies a year. It also cares for around 900 of the region’s poorliest babies in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit every year. Birmingham Children’s Hospital is one of the UK’s leading specialist paediatric centres offering expert care to 90,000 children and young people from across the country every year. It is also home the largest single site paediatric intensive care unit in Europe. Watch the short video below for more details. For further information on Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust visit bwc.nhs.uk. For more on its charities please visit bch.org.uk for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and bwh.org.uk for Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity.