Local credit management company, Lowell have become the first Yorkshire business to sponsor a star as part of Leeds Hospitals Charity’s ‘Sparkle’ Christmas campaign.

The charity first launched the initiative last year, asking businesses to support their local NHS hospitals during an extremely difficult year.

Leeds Hospitals Charity is a cause close to the hearts of many employees at Lowell, who are grateful for the care themselves or their loved ones have received, from birth to death.

Fiona Barker, Director of Financial Performance (UK), at Lowell is eternally grateful to the staff who cared for her son Archie at the very start of his life. Archie is now 15, and a happy and healthy teenager, but his first few months of life were very rocky.

Fiona had a completely normal pregnancy and no complications at birth, it wasn’t until her little boy was five weeks old that things started to go wrong. The first-time mum was terrified when a GP visit ended in her son being hospitalised with bronchiolitis. Thankfully, Archie made a full recovery after a couple of days in a baby oxygen tent and could return home.

Just when Fiona felt reassured that the worst was over, at five months old Archie fell ill again and was rushed to A&E where the shock diagnosis of pneumococcal meningitis came. Archie spent two weeks in hospital and needed surgery to put an antibiotic line into his head.

One thing that stands out to Fiona from that time is how supportive the staff were, she says, “The staff were so caring – on both occasions I was a new mum, so was finding the whole transition to being a mum hard enough without dealing with serious illnesses too. All of the staff made time for me, to answer questions, give a hug when needed or just reassure me that I was doing the right thing and that Archie was in the best place possible.”

For Lisa Wragg, Head of Office Services at Lowell, it’s the compassion staff showed to her father during the last few weeks of his life that means so much.

Lisa’s father, Tony Jagger, was 93 years old. Coronavirus restrictions meant that Tony’s family couldn’t be by his side all of the time, but Lisa says staff reassured her family every step of the way:

“When we were not there with him the nurses, care assistants even the sisters sat with him night and day holding his hand and talking to him it was such a comfort to us to know they were looking after him so well. We called them our angels and we cannot praise them enough.”

By supporting this campaign, businesses like Lowell will make a huge difference to staff and patients across our hospitals in Leeds, from some of our youngest patients to patients coming to the end of their life.

John Pears, Lowell UK CEO, commented on what supporting the campaign means to the business:

“Giving back to our local community is something that's really important to us and we're so proud to be able to support Leeds Hospitals Charity who help improve and save people's lives. 

I think everyone at Lowell feels a really strong sense of pride in our association with Leeds Hospitals Charity and we pleased to be continuing our partnership by supporting the Sparkle Christmas Campaign.”

Last year, an incredible 20 businesses sponsored a star to light up Brotherton Wing at Leeds General Infirmary, and the campaign raised a phenomenal £30,000 to help NHS staff, patients, and families in hospital over the festive period.

This year, businesses will light up stars at both Leeds General Infirmary at St James’s Hospital, in a special switch on event on Tuesday 30th November. The stars range from 80cm up to 350cm in diameter, so collectively, with the support of numerous businesses, the display will light up the Leeds sky.

If you or your business would like to sponsor one of the stars and make a real difference to your local hospitals this Christmas, please click below to find out more.

Help our hospitals sparkle

Get in touch with our Corporate Partnerships team at [email protected] or by calling 0113 539 7020.