Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity has hit £700,000 in its £1.5million iMRI brain scanner appeal, just three months after launch, thanks to some of the West Midlands’ top business leaders and companies.

The charity’s newly-formed visionary network of businesses and individuals, Changemakers, which boasts the likes of The Rigby Foundation, established by founder of the Rigby Group Sir Peter Rigby, Whanau Advisory, a consultancy which helps build high-growth companies, founded by Gymshark Non-Executive Director Steve Hewitt, and online performance partner Redbrain as its founding pioneers, have all pledged their support.

The latest Changemakers to join this collective change for good, to help the charity reach the £700,000 mark, include entrepreneur Maxine Laceby, CEO and Co-Founder of Absolute Collagen, and her family, plus Prosperity Wealth, Kangs Solicitors, O’Brien Contractors, HERA and Wealth Solutions.

In this first year, the Changemakers have already committed £450,000 to bring the intraoperative MRI (iMRI) scanner to the Children’s Hospital, supporting patients in need of brain tumour or epilepsy surgery at the hospital. This coupled with public funds pledged and raised, means the appeal has now hit £700,000, with £800,000 left to make the scanner a reality.

This incredible milestone was celebrated at an official launch event for the Changemakers network, which took place at Eighteen 103 Colmore Row yesterday (Thursday 6 July). Changemakers came together to learn more about the difference their money will make and the impact it’ll have on children with brain tumours and neurosurgeons at the hospital.

Mark Brider, CEO of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Our Changemaker network has really resonated with the local business and philanthropist community and we’re thrilled to announce four new, incredible names, who join us in recognising the importance of making a positive impact on the younger generation.

“We’re delighted to have reached the £700,000 milestone in our iMRI Appeal, largely due to this visionary group of philanthropists, leaders and businesses. It will help us to transform lives at our hospital by ensuring our specialist doctors and nurses can offer our young patients the best treatments.”

Maxine Laceby, CEO and Co-Founder of Absolute Collagen, said: “We take philanthropy seriously, it is part of the Laceby family DNA and we could not be prouder to become Partner-level Changemakers. We are a Midlands-based business and Birmingham Children's Hospital has touched many people we know, including personal friends and Absolute Collagen team members.”

Future Changemakers are able to join 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.

Other Changemakers are the Francis family, including 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 Pertemps, Azets, DSM Demolition, Thomas Franks Ltd, as well as the Lusty family, led by Alan Lusty, CEO of adi Group, plus more. A full list of all Changemakers can be found here