A Midlands-based marketing agency has been named as this week’s charity champion after raising over £5,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

A team of 13 members of staff from ITG, which has offices in Birmingham and Wolverhampton, raised the money by facing their fears and abseiling down the iconic Fort Dunlop building as part of the charity’s 100ft abseil.  The team also took part in a Wolf Run, tackling challenging obstacles and wading through mud for the hospital’s sick kids.

The team at ITG were inspired to fundraise for the children’s hospital after its office manager, Sharon Millar, 48, shared her inspiring connection to the world class hospital.

Sharon’s granddaughter Alicia Kerrie White was born in 2014 and was diagnosed with Truncus Arteriosus, a congenital heart defect. At just two-days-old, Alicia was admitted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for emergency surgery to repair her heart.  The operation was a success but sadly, Alicia suffered a heart attack and after spending five weeks on life-support machines, she sadly passed away.

Sharon and family were absolutely devastated, but always remember the time that they were able to spend with Alicia.  She said:  “We got to spend an amazing five weeks with Alicia, getting to know her, telling her stories, feeding her, sleeping with her, and taking photos of her.  These are all things we couldn’t have done without Birmingham Children’s Hospital.  The amazing doctors and nurses gave Alicia a chance at life and without their support we would not have the memories with Alicia that we treasure.”

Sharon made a commitment to give something back to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, initially raising over £5,000 on her own before encouraging her colleagues at ITG to get involved with both the Wolf Run and then the abseil.

“The abseil was an amazing experience but it was so tough!  It was so lovely to see so many of the ITG team being so supportive of one another and encouraging each other to be brave.  We’ve already started looking for our next challenge!”

Serena Daw, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “It’s so humbling to hear how Sharon’s experience of our hospital has inspired such a commitment to fundraise for us. Even more so getting her colleagues involved.

“Our hospital treats over 90,000 children every year, and the money Sharon and ITG has raised will make such a huge difference for both our patients and their families.”