One of Yorkshire’s leading entrepreneurs, Professor Graham Andrew Leslie CBE, has swapped the boardroom for the recording studio to launch a charity single for Christmas. Download here.
Graham Leslie, who saved the NHS billions with the creation of his store brand pharmaceutical business Galpharm International, has now turned to music as medicine. The single, ‘Travelling Home for Christmas’, aims to raise awareness and funds to redevelop the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Graham said: “The reason I’m supporting this cause is I once had the experience of not being able to be with my children one Christmas and I was very fortunate to be able to visit the hospital and entertain the patients with cards, tricks and my guitar.
“I hope people get behind the charity single and give a valuable gift to those children and their families in hospital facing a difficult Christmas this year. I feel passionately about family, and about the work of Sheffield Children’s Hospital, which is invaluable of course all year round.”
A Resident Professor of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Huddersfield University, Leslie was at the Hillsborough tragedy and went on to create, along with Sir John Harman, Europe’s first ever 25,000 all-seater stadium in Huddersfield for football and rugby matches, inspired that such a disaster would never be repeated. Graham received a CBE in 2017 from the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, for his services to entrepreneurship.
Sheffield Children’s Hospital receives far less charitable funds than high profile children’s hospitals such as Great Ormond Street – despite serving a larger number of children.
Last year, the London hospital raised £103.2m and had 225,570 patients, Sheffield however received just £5m charitable funds for 270,000 patients.
Sophie Coburn, Corporate Partnerships Officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity said, “A transformed Cancer and Leukaemia ward has never been more needed, and Graham’s efforts will make a huge difference to young patients across the region who depend on its incredible care.”
The Huddersfield entrepreneur produced the charity single with Sheffield’s songwriter to the stars, Eliot Kennedy.
The Grammy-award winning songwriter has written hits for the Spice Girls, Take That, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin and many others, but works from his home city in his recording studio, Steelworks. Eliot is renowned as one of the biggest hearts in Sheffield, raising huge funds for charities with his annual concerts.
Eliot Kennedy said: “I’ve known Graham for over 15 years but when he rocked up with a guitar and told me about his song writing I had no clue he had this talent. It’s been enormous fun working with him. He is a brilliant man who has always kept grounded in his community, and we are like minds. Both of us understand the value of family, of community, and I urge everyone to support the Sheffield Children’s Hospital this Christmas.”
Graham Leslie will perform the song on 2 December at the Sheffield Children’s Hospital for the Snowflake Christmas lights switch on.
‘Travelling Home for Christmas’ will be available to download on November 29 on all digital platforms including ITunes, Spotify, Google Play and Amazon with the video available on YouTube.
100% of the proceeds will be donated to The Children’s Hospital Charity to help improve the experience faced by young patients like Andrew Davies. Andrew was just 13 when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in September 2012.
The aggressive form of cancer is caused by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow and blood. The teenager began chemotherapy and underwent a bone marrow transplant, spending 25 days in isolation.
The care he received at Sheffield Children’s Hospital ensured that within three months Andrew could resume his life once again and was able to return to school.
“Sheffield Children’s Hospital is a phenomenal place and I really don’t know what would have happened to me had I not been treated there, which is a scary thought” Andrew, now 20, reflects.
The Children’s Hospital Charity £2.75m appeal will transform the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, with more space, privacy and natural light. It would create private patient rooms with en-suite facilities, giving patients a place to make their own and space for a parent to sleep comfortably alongside them.
Andrew said: “I was a teenager but I still had a family member stay by my side almost every night I was in hospital. It was really comforting to have that option, even at that age. Space for them to stay comfortably by their child on the ward will make a huge difference.”
“I was delighted to hear about the new Christmas single supporting the ward. I wish it every success so The Children’s Hospital Charity can match the facilities to its already excellent care as soon as possible.”
To find out more about the appeal to transform the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, visit www.tchc.org.uk/appeal
To view more about the remarkable work of Graham Leslie, watch the film below, ‘The man who built a stadium’.
Notes to editors:
- The Children’s Hospital Charity helps make Sheffield Children’s Hospital even better, by funding projects that are over and above the standard NHS provision. Money raised through donations funds four key areas; medical equipment, research, new facilities and improvements to the environment.
- In July 2018, the ‘Building a Better Future’ appeal was launched to raise £14.25million to build a brand new Helipad, expand the Emergency Department and redevelop the Cancer and Leukaemia Ward. For more information visit: https://www.tchc.org.uk/how-you-can-help/appeal/
- In April 2018, young patients and their families moved into world-class new hospital wards. Over £10million was raised by generous supporters and companies sponsoring patient bedrooms, treatment and therapy rooms.
- The new wing also includes a special Play Tower, built to enable more distraction during patient stays at the hospital, funded entirely by charitable donations.
- For more information on how you can support The Children’s Hospital Charity, please visit www.tchc.org.uk or call 0114 271 7203.