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Royal re-opening of Piam Brown children’s ward

Duchess of Cornwall with the Jordan familySouthampton Hospital Charity was delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall to open the newly refurbished children’s cancer unit Piam Brown at University Hospital Southampton on Thursday 24 November.

This very special event saw the Duchess taken on a tour of the renovated unit where she met Piam Brown staff, patients and their families. Led by Leigh Shaw (Senior Sister on Piam Brown), Kate Pye (Divisional Head of Nursing) and the Cubitt family (who helped lead the appeal) she was shown all aspects of this much supported unit from the new two bed bay to the teaching and games room.

After spending time on the ward the Duchess joined guests at the royal reception in UHS’s Heartbeat Suite. The reception was one of warmth and gratitude and a wonderful opportunity to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who played a part in the campaign – without them we wouldn't have been able to deliver such a comprehensive refurbishment.

The Duchess joined major donors, fundraisers and hospital staff to celebrate the incredible transformation of the ward which was only made possible through the staggering support of charity donors and supporters. 

Duchess of Cornwall and Alisia Cole

The reception closed with 11 year old Alisia Cole, a patient at Southampton Children’s Hospital and the winner of our Piam Brown art competition, presenting the Duchess with a framed painting she had created. The beautiful painting was selected as the winning competition entry by Alan Titchmarsh who said:

"I love the optimism this painting contains - the bright golden ball, rising like the sun over a green land. It just made me feel bright and happy and optimistic about life, and I love that in paintings." 

The £550,000 refurbishment of Piam Brown has created an additional two bed bay on the ward, re-modelled the entrance, and provided a new waiting area, consulting room and parent’s kitchen amongst many other changes. It will drastically change the experience of the children who find themselves in these traumatic situations.

To date the refurbishment appeal has seen donors pledge and raise an incredible amount of money in just over six months. This shows just how valued it is and we would like to say a very special thanks to everyone who donated during the campaign – without you we wouldn't have been able to deliver such a comprehensive refurbishment.

However, we still have some remaining funds to raise so please do get in touch if you would like support this vital and loved unit or know anyone else who may be interested in doing so.

Anyone interested in making a donation can contact Southampton Hospital Charity on 023 8120 8881, by email at or text PIAM16 and the amount to 70070. For more information and background on the Piam Brown appeal, visit

Photographs courtesy of Dominic Parkes Photography.

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