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Last Updated: Monday, 27 September, 2004, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
Noah's Ark appeal raises 7m
Dame Shirley
Dame Shirley Bassey visited the hospital she helped to fund
The organisers of an appeal to raise money for a new Children's Hospital of Wales have announced that almost 7m has so far been raised.

The Noah's Ark Appeal was launched in May 2000 to find money to build Wales' only dedicated children's hospital.

The appeal has so far exceeded its initial target of 5m.

The building, at the University Hospital of Wales, Heath, Cardiff, is expected to take its first patients early next year.

The appeal plans to continue to support the hospital and the families who will use its facilities.

The first 65-bed phase of the hospital is due to be completed by December 2004.

In a speech on Monday, appeal chairman Stanley Thomas said the target of 6.8m had been realised and there would be additional projects that would benefit the hospital worth an extra 1m.

Children's Hospital for Wales design
Stars such as Ian Botham have raised money for the appeal
"The first phase of the hospital is as described - the first phase.

"It is a wonderful building that will bring immediate benefits to those who need to use it but we now await the deliberations of the Welsh assembly government," he said.

"They have before them the plans, programmes and policies for the proposed further phases of the first Children's Hospital for Wales."

Mr Thomas said the appeal would not be "taking a breather" from fundraising.

"We shall aim to make sure that a world-class hospital today remains a world-class hospital in years to come," he added.

He thanked the many people who had raised money to date, including celebrities such as cricketer Ian Botham, who has done charity walks throughout Wales for the appeal.

Botham walk raises close to 1m
13 May 02  |  Wales

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