Jo Dobson, a member of the Institute of Travel Management (ITM), has inspired both her company and members of the Institute to raise vital funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity following the dedicated care and treatment given to her daughter, Imogen, throughout her childhood.

Imogen was born with Complete AVSD and two valves missing in her heart. Surgeons at Birmingham Children’s Hospital created new valves for her; although the total time needed to repair her heart as she grows up is currently unknown. Imogen has spent two extended visits at our hospital, and Jo says:

The care given to my daughter during both her heart surgeries and the dedication shown by the staff was amazing- you can never be grateful enough for the people who saved your child’s life.

Jo’s passion for Ward 12 and our Heart Department got everyone in her office at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Birmingham, actively involved in fundraising for our charity and driven to do more for our sick kids. The office got involved in our Big Bandage Day, raising £700, and took part in some of our events including Birmingham Half Marathon, where they raised £1,000- which they are taking part in again this year! The whole team fully supported Jo and her family during their journey with our hospital, and set up a JustGiving page when they heard Imogen desperately needed further heart surgery, raising £1,200.

Jo and Imogen’s amazing story inspired all the ITM members to fundraise through their annual conference at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole in May 2017, you can watch their dedicated fundraising video here. However, ITM went above and beyond and got thirty of their delegates to take part in the evening entertainment, hosting the first ever ITM’S Got Talent! Everyone threw themselves into the challenge and spent months training at London’s Pineapple Dance Studio. Jo performed a number from Chicago, involving dance choreography, singing and acting!

During the rehearsals, the talent community really demonstrated their commitment to the fundraising and one member was able to volunteer Barclaycard to match monies raised on the night and another applied to his company to make a further donation. Altogether, ITM members, Barclaycard and Enterprise Holdings Foundation group have raised an incredible total of £12,500 for Ward 12 and our Heart Investigations Unit, where the money will fund vital equipment to provide the highest quality treatment for our sick kids. We were delighted to welcome Jo and Imogen for a tour of the Heart Department and host a cheque presentation to celebrate their fantastic fundraising!