A MAMMOTH fundraising haul from an event in memory of ‘Mr Swindon’ Sandy Martin has gone towards Great Western Hospital’s newly opened children’s emergency department.
The BBC Wiltshire DJ died in 2011 aged 53 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. Since his death, friends have held events in his memory, with the latest taking place at The Kings, in Old Town, last month.
The event, which saw Sandy’s DJ friends playing hits from the 70s and 80s, raised £1,250 for the new centre, supporting the GWH’s Brighter Futures charity.
Tony McCluskey, who used to spin the decks with Sandy at the Brunel Rooms, helped organise the Kings fundraiser.
Tony, who is a nurse at the GWH, said: “We organise something in memory of Sandy each year and we were overwhelmed by the support the latest event received as we could have sold out three times over. It was a really good chance for Sandy’s old friends to get together and celebrate his life and we are pleased to have raised so much for a good cause.”
Sandy was a household name around Swindon, having made his mark on the nightclub scene, and many of his friends are from the circuit. The theme for the event at the Wood Street venue was Disco Trekkin’, in honour of a weekly programme Sandy had on commercial station GWR.
Staff from the paediatric emergency department came to the Kings yesterday to receive the cheque and were delighted by the amount raised.
Ella Hutchinson, lead paediatric nurse, said: “We are very pleased and thankful. This just shows the strength of collaboration between the hospital and the community and how well thought-of it is.
“Since opening last week, we have got some really good feedback from the public, particualrly children, which is really important to us.”
The department’s staff thanked Tony and his organising team as well as Darren and Vicky Turner, who run the Kings, for hosting the event.
Darren said: “It is really good to do something to support a community asset and remember Sandy. We were pleased to be a part of it.”
In previous years, the events in memory of Sandy have raised money for Prospect Hospice and the Sandy Martin Memorial Fund.
Now that the paediatric emergency department is open, the Brighter Futures charity is looking to raise £75,000 which will go towards introducing new breast cancer treatments at GWH.
To support the campaign call 01973 605632 or visit www.justgiving.com/brighterfutures3