NHS birthday celebrations begin with Rotherham’s new Mayor

The new Mayor of Rotherham has pledged to support Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity during his Mayoral year to thank the NHS for the cancer care he and his wife have received.

Mayor Councillor Robert Taylor and his wife Tracy

Councillor Robert Taylor and his wife Tracy were sworn in as the town's new Mayor and Mayoress during a ceremonial handover at Rotherham Town Hall on Friday 19 May, where they also announced their charities of the year. 

In 2007, Tracy was diagnosed with breast cancer and endured a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Councillor Taylor was diagnosed with bowel cancer just three months after Tracy completed her medication. His treatment included a partial bowel removal and resection and chemotherapy. 

Councillor Taylor, a Labour councillor for Aughton and Swallownest, said: “Tracy and I have experienced first-hand the wonderful cancer care provided by The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust in recent years. We’re both so grateful. It really wasn’t a difficult decision for us after experiencing NHS care personally and hearing about the difference the charity makes to patients and their families. 

“We were also inspired by the charity’s future fundraising campaigns and events, including the NHS’ 75th birthday, which we can’t wait to get involved in. This is our chance to give something back to the NHS which saved our lives and we can’t wait to get started.”

Councillor Taylor took over the role from outgoing Mayor, Councillor Tajamal Khan, who also supported the charity during his Mayoral year.

Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity has been raising money to enhance the experience of NHS patients for more than 25 years, funding extra special resources, equipment and projects which really make a difference.

In recent years this has included funding the new Snowdrop suite on the delivery suite at Rotherham Hospital. The private room is now available for parents who sadly lose a child, allowing them to spent precious time together when it really matters the most.

Funds have also recently been invested in artwork, entertainers and musicians for the Children’s Ward, resources for the Special Care Baby Unit to enhance bonding between mothers and premature babies as well as refreshments for afternoon tea parties for patients across the hospital.

Cllr Taylor will be instrumental in helping the charity to mark the NHS’ 75th anniversary on 5 July 2023. Fundraising nationally will include NHS Big Tea parties, a campaign spearheaded by NHS Charities Together. Locally, the charity will be encouraging the Mayor and residents across the town to get involved in a Wear It Blue Day to reflect the NHS’ iconic blue scrubs and uniforms. 

Rachael Dawes, Head of Fundraising, added: “We feel incredibly fortunate and proud to be chosen as one of Councillor Taylor’s chosen charities after a wonderful year fundraising with Councillor Khan. I’m sure the Mayor and Mayoress’ cancer journeys will resonate with many people throughout the town.

“With the generous support of the Mayor and Mayoress we can inspire fundraisers throughout Rotherham to take part in some truly exciting campaigns and events that we have in the pipeline. We hope to get the new Mayor involved in everything from wearing blue to rowing a dragon boat!” 

For more information about Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity please contact Suzanne Rutter on 01709 426821 or via trft.rhcc@nhs.net