TV presenter Dan Walker helps to lay first bricks at new Sheffield hospital wing

Patients Maisie Graham, 15, and Amber Whiston, five, with Dan Walker as work gets under way on a �40 million new wing at Sheffield Children's Hospital. Credit: The Children's Hospital Charity.

Patients Maisie Graham, 15, and Amber Whiston, five, with Dan Walker as work gets under way on a �40 million new wing at Sheffield Children's Hospital. Credit: The Children's Hospital Charity.

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The first brick on a £40 million new wing at Sheffield Children’s Hospital has been laid by young patients with the help of TV presenter Dan Walker.

With just over a year until completion, the first brick has gone down at the site on Western Bank, which will include three 24-bed wards - two surgical and one medical as well as a new outpatient department.

Football Focus presenter Dan, patron of The Children’s Hospital Charity, said it was a “very special” moment.

He added: “I pass this hospital every day taking my kids to school, and I have seen the work being done and the scaffolding going up. I have been supporting The Children’s Hospital Charity for a while now, but to be laying the first brick on this incredible development is something I never thought I would be asked to do. I feel very privileged to be involved.”

Five-year-old Amber Whiston, from Sheffield, helped lay a brick along with other patients from the hospital.

Her mum, Lara Joyce, said: “We are so pleased to be involved, because we know how important this development is to the families who come here.

“Amber was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was eight months old, and we have been coming here ever since. Having a bit of privacy and space as a family can make all the difference, especially during long stays.”

The Children’s Hospital Charity is helping to fund the development but has launched a fundraising appeal to help provide facilities outside the NHS provision.

On June 26, firms, individuals and groups across the country will be joining Make It Better Day by holding bake sales, coffee mornings, raffles and sponsored challenges.

David Vernon-Edwards, director of The Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “This is the biggest healthcare project in the region, and we urgently need donations to help bring world-class facilities to the hospital, to match the existing world-class care.”

To order a fundraising pack, visit www.tchc.org.uk or call 0114 271 7203.