SkateHut, a retailer of skate wear and equipment, has been named as this week’s charity champion after hitting the £30,000 mark, following three years of fundraising for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Headquartered in Halesowen, the staff at SkateHut ‘ramped up’ their fundraising after naming Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity as their official charity partners back in 2016. Since then, they’ve taken part in all kinds of fundraising events to raise money for the charity, from runs to abseils and tea parties to head-shaves, as well as holding their own music and comedy nights. The team has even been offering customers the chance to win a prize on its ‘Wheel of Fortune’ game, charging £1.00 per spin.

The local charity was an obvious choice as a partner for SkateHut, where many of the team have personal connections, including Operations Director Dell Blundell, whose son was treated for a burn, and Brand Development Manager Stuart Talbot, whose son Ashley found himself in for a longer stay.

When he was just one-year-old, Ashley was diagnosed with Discitis, an inflammation of the discs in the spine caused by a severe infection. Stuart found that his baby son was in so much pain that he couldn’t even sit up, so rushed him to their local hospital in Coventry. After 48-hours, he was then transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. As soon as he arrived, Ashley started receiving treatment and antibiotics and received six weeks of constant care, whilst his infection cleared. His parents were finally allowed to take him home, although Ashley still received home visits from a district nurse for a further month, but has since made a full recovery.

Stuart said: “When we arrived at the children’s hospital it was so daunting, but the staff were absolutely fantastic at making us feel more at ease. Even though Ashley was so poorly, seeing all of the other sick children on the ward made us feel so lucky, as we had a diagnosis for Ashley and knew it could be treated. I’m so glad that via SkateHut I’ve had the chance to do something to say thank you and give back!”

Dell said: “Birmingham Children’s Hospital is close to all of our hearts in one way or another, and we’re all absolutely chuffed that we’ve managed to raise so much for the charity. It has been so rewarding and has had such as positive effect on our staff. We have staff who have never run in their lives, training to do 10k races and there’s never any shortage of sign-ups for an abseil, it’s just brilliant!”

Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Whether you’ve spent time at our hospital yourself or you know someone who has, it’s incredible to see how those experiences stay with our families and how friends and colleagues come together to raise funds for us.

“SkateHut really has gone above and beyond for our charity and the staggering amount of money it has raised will help us do so much more for the 90,000 sick kids we treat at our hospital every year.”