Some of the region’s top business leaders and companies have come together to transform the lives of sick kids at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Steve Hewitt, Founder of Whanau Advisory and Non-Executive Director at Gymshark, Sir Peter Rigby, Founder of the Rigby Group and The Rigby Foundation, and leading recruitment firm Pertemps are just some of the well-known names who have formed the visionary network of Changemakers, for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

With a passion to be part of a collective change for good, in the first year, the Changemakers have committed to support the charity’s latest fundraising appeal, to bring an intraoperative MRI (iMRI) scanner to the hospital, supporting patients in need of brain tumour or epilepsy surgery at the hospital.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital is home to one of the largest paediatric neurosurgical centres in the UK, but it is the only one without an iMRI scanner. The charity’s £1.5m iMRI Appeal (launched today, Thursday 23 March) will bring this state-of-the-art technology to patients, with Changemakers already pledging £387,500 towards this much-needed equipment.

The Changemakers are able to join the group as Pioneers, Partners and Members, with a tiered investment level and three-year, two-year and one-year commitment respectively.

In addition to helping the hospital invest in state-of-the art, life-saving equipment, the Changemakers will also support the creation of inspiring child friendly spaces to make the hospital feel less daunting for kids of all ages.

Mark Brider, CEO of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are delighted to have brought together this group of philanthropists, leaders and businesses who have a shared passion for making a positive impact on the younger generation. With their collective business experience, resources and extensive networks, we know we can drive more pioneering projects at our hospital, which will further support our brilliant team of doctors and nurses as they care for over 90,000 young patients every year.”

Steve Hewitt, Founder of Whanau Advisory and Non-Executive Director at Gymshark, said: “Whanau is thrilled to be working in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity to help lead and develop the Changemakers initiative. This incredible opportunity will help make an immeasurable impact on kids' lives and ensure the hospital can build on its already world-class service and treatment innovation. It’s why we became a founding pioneer – it’s more than just giving finances, it also helps to safeguard a brighter future.

Sir Peter Rigby, said: “It is a privilege to become a Pioneer Changemaker and for the Rigby Foundation to actively participate and make a positive impact, starting with the hospital’s intraoperative MRI appeal.” 

Other Changemakers include the Francis family, led by Ben Francis, Founder and CEO of Gymshark, who is also Patron of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. They are joined by other Midlands-based businesses, including Redbrain, Azets, DSM Demolition, Thomas Franks Ltd, as well as Alan Lusty, CEO of adi Group and his family, plus more. A full list of all Changemakers is available on the charity’s website.

Find out more about Changemakers here. To learn more about the £1.5m iMRI Appeal, or to donate, please visit our iMRI appeal.