Schools, businesses, community groups, patients and their families are being urged to help Airedale Hospital raise £100,000 for resources for its new emergency department.

The aim is to raise enough funds for three distraction walls for the children’s assessment and treatment areas, more resources to help patients with dementia who will use the trust’s Butterfly Room and state-of-the-art equipment to improve care for the thousands of people who will use the department each year, including an interactive light system for the children’s waiting area and cardiac monitors for the general assessment areas.

The appeal was launched last week and was backed at an event on site by Barbara Hodkinson, founder of the national Butterfly Scheme, which helps hospital staff to care for and improve the health and wellbeing for patients with dementia.

Other guests included Bridget Fletcher, chief executive, Rob Dearden, director of nursing and Martin Kelsey, ED consultant at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust; Richard Parker editor of our sister paper the Keighley News which has nominated the appeal as their charity of the year; Ann Christian from Ilkley based LCF law firm and Malcolm Weaving, the owner of Rendez Vous Hotel who are sponsoring the appeal and Eileen Proud, chair of the Friends of Airedale and Mike Yates, chairman of New Ventures – the hospital’s charities.

Meg Crossley, consultant in emergency medicine at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Equipment such as distraction walls are so important for children who find coming into hospital, particularly in an emergency situation, quite frightening. They will be wall-to-ceiling and play a vital role in helping parents entertain their child if they become agitated or distressed.”

Ann Christian, of LCF, based in Ilkley, said: “We support a variety of national charities but wanted to become particularly involved in a local charity where we could really make a difference.”

Building the new £6 million emergency department that is fit for the 21st century is expected to take up to a year. It will provide much improved facilities including separate adult and children’s waiting areas, a quiet room for friends and families to use during stressful events and better privacy and dignity for vulnerable older patients and their families and carers.

For more information about how you can support the appeal contact (01535) 294546 or email: charitable.funds@anhst.nhs or text EDAP50 £5 to 70070 to make a donation today or visit