Well Friday was an incredibly special day for the hospital and the charity. The First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Charity’s Patron Diane Briere de L’Isle-Engelhardt officially opened the building in front of patients, staff and VIPs, while the Noah’s Ark Angels sang ‘from above’ welcoming everybody into the hospital.
In his speech the First Minister described the opening of the second phase of the hospital as an “historic occasion” for young patients across the country.
He said: “When I look around this building, I try to find the words to describe it – but the main word I always come back to is ‘wow’…I remember what children’s hospitals used to look like. Mine used to be housed in the old Bridgend work house. There was no light, no space and it was a difficult place for staff to work in. This new building will help deliver the spirit, welcoming atmosphere and treatment these children need”.
He added “There are fewer facilities better in Europe than this hospital – and it will treat children as far north as Aberystwyth.” During his speech he announced an additional £1.2 million pounds would be made available for the hospital to buy specialist equipment.
Our charity Patron Charlotte Church was also there to witness the official opening and speak to patients. She said it was “incredibly humbling” to see how the staff operated.
“I have been involved with Noah’s Ark since I was 14, and it’s amazing to come here….It’s hard sometimes and gives you perspective on life, but the work they do here is just immense…If anything ever happened to any of our children, then there’s this amazing, state-of-the-art, world-class facility here.”
After the official ceremony, guests were invited to the Noah’s Ark Gala Lunch where they were entertained with food and performance by new celebrity ambassadors for the charity – Only Men Aloud.
Noah’s Ark Charity Director Suzanne Mainwaring said “It is fantastic to have Only Men Aloud on board. The charitable work they have done over the years is inspiring. They will bring a new energy to the charity and we are looking forward to future fundraising together”.