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Corrie star opens new space-themed Radiology Department at the Children's Hospital

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The newly enhanced radiology department at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital opened its doors last week thanks to funding from Thomas Cook Children's Charity, with a little help from Coronation Street star Antony Cotton.

The actor, who plays much loved character Sean Tully in the soap, joined visitors for the first glimpse of an ambitious, space themed art project that has turned the department into a colourful and engaging environment for patients and staff.

Artists from hospital arts charity Lime worked to deliver the scheme thanks to the generous donation of £100,000 from Thomas Cook Children's Charity.

The new artwork, which draws on the Solar System for inspiration, now has nine individually decorated rooms based on the nine planets. Each has its own character, environment and imagery based around ideas given by patients and staff.

The reception area represents the 'Starship X-Ray' control centre with an array of control panels, light boxes, new play tables, interactive technology and furniture.

Young patients will be joined on their 'journey through space' by Raybots and X-Raybots - small models made from old computers. These little companions are displayed in cases around the department and feature in some of the new artwork.

The unveiling was led by Chair of Thomas Cook Children's Charity Joanna Wild, who was the official ribbon cutter and one of the first people to have a tour of the newly enhanced facility.

Joanna Wild, Chair of the Thomas Cook Children's Charity, said:  "On behalf of Thomas Cook Children's Charity, I am delighted that our contribution will help make what could be a daunting visit to the hospital that much easier for all young patients at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

"Our support for this project is a great example of our ongoing efforts to improve children's lives and benefit the communities in which they live.  The finished artwork looks fantastic and we are so proud to have been involved in making the Radiology Department a calm and family-friendly environment".

Maurice Watkins CBE, Chairman of Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity's fundraising board added: "The Radiology Department plays a key role at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.  Being in hospital can be a frightening time for children so having therapeutic artworks and interactive technology to distract our young patients is vital in making their treatment as comfortable and stress free as possible.

"We could not have undertaken this huge project without the generous support of Thomas Cook Children's Charity.  With their help we are continuing to ensure that Royal Manchester Children's Hospital isn't just the largest children's hospital in the UK, but also one of the very best".

For more information on Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity visit www.rmchcharity.org.uk



For further information please contact Kate Meighan at SKV Communications on 0161 838 7770 or e-mail kate.meighan@skvcommunications.co.uk



Notes to Editors

  • Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity provides resources to make a difficult time a little bit easier for children and their families who use Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.
  • Royal Manchester Children's Hospital treats over 200,000 patients every year.  They come from all over the North West of England and from other parts of the country for some highly specialised treatments.
  • Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity is part of the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charity.  Registered charity number 1049274.
  • The other hospitals which make up Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charity are: University Dental Hospital of Manchester Charity; Manchester Royal Eye Hospital Charity; Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity; Saint Mary's Hospital Charity; Trafford Hospitals Charity.
  • Lime is an award-winning arts charity within Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Thomas Cook Children's Charity (1091673) was set up in 2009 and works to improve the lives of sick and disadvantaged children. It supports a variety of appeals and projects for children both in the UK and overseas. Money is raised by Thomas Cook employees and through a range of activities including customer donations placed at the time of booking and unwanted foreign currency collected onboard flights and in retail stores.