Rockinghorse gives over £430,000 in the past year

Rockinghorse, the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, has given...

Rockinghorse, the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, has given funding amounting to over £430,000 during the past year to a wide range of equipment, projects and research.

This funding, raised in their last financial year, continues to support the children’s hospital and the Trevor Mann Baby Unit to look after sick babies and children in the hospital itself and throughout Sussex.

The amount of grants during the last year has increased 56% from the previous year. The vast majority of this figure, over £315,000, was given to the two main stakeholders: The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Trevor Mann Baby Unit.

Projects at the Alex

The projects funded specifically within the Royal Alex include a specialist Oncology Psychologist for young cancer patients and their families, five ventilators for the HDU, a virtual fracture clinic to review injuries without needing to attend a clinic and counselling support for staff at the children’s hospital.


Dr Alice Emond is the clinical psychologist whose post has been funded by Rockinghorse. She is specially trained to support children of all ages with a cancer diagnosis, supporting children and their families to cope with the diagnosis, treatments, emotional and behavioural challenges associated with their illness.

The impact that she has already had on families affected by cancer has been significant, with one parent explaining; “It’s been a long and challenging treatment for my son, which meant that we were both in need of emotional support. Ensuring he is equipped with the right tools to help navigate the roller coaster of emotions he’s experiencing is crucial. Having Alice has meant that we have dedicated support from someone who has the tools to help us.”

Read more about the work that Dr Emond does here.



Support for the Trevor Mann Baby Unit

Within the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU), funding has been provided for a digital x-ray machine, membership of the VON database, a worldwide community of professionals working to improve neonatal care, and a heartbeat research project which is testing an innovative heart rate monitoring device for new born babies.

Dr Anton, who is leading the heartbeat research, has been able to work closely with Dr Elizabeth Rendon-Morales and her team from the Institute of Sensor Technology at the University of Sussex to help develop a novel sensory prototype. It’s aimed that this prototype will be able to detect baby’s heartbeat minutes after birth using the new ECG sensor followed by a pilot study in stable babies.

In total 37 different grants were given to the hospital during the year, all of which directly impacted on the care the Alex and the TMBU were able to offer. Without this additional source of funding the services and support that could be provided to sick children would be greatly affected.

Find out more about the heartbeat research here.

Plans for 2020

We aim to continue their funding during 2020 but this has already been greatly impacted by the current Covid-19 crisis. Many of the charities usual fundraising events, such as marathons, have been cancelled or postponed, meaning large proportions of income have disappeared overnight.

Rhian Walsh, Finance Manager for Rockinghorse, is proud of the level of grants they have given but hopes people will continue to support the charity; “Understandably, each year the amount we are able to offer changes but this last year really has been a great one. The range of projects and equipment we have been able to provide will make such a difference to the care that the wonderful staff at the Alex and the TMBU can give sick children both now and into the future.

“We hope we are able to continue at this level which is why we are calling on our loyal supporters to maintain their fund-raising efforts. It’s understandably a difficult time for everyone but being able to help support the children’s hospital is vital to improving the lives of poorly children and young people throughout Sussex.”