Watch: Sheffield Children's Hospital shines bright after snowflake lights switch on

Sheffield Children’s Hospital is shining bright after a young patient turned on its snowflake lights tonight – in a Christmas tradition which this year is set to raise a ‘staggering’ £330,000.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 4:31 pm

The annual snowflake appeal, where businesses, organisations, families and even neighbours can fundraise to sponsor a snowflake decoration for The Children’s Hospital Charity, has become a much-loved part of the city’s festive countdown.

Tonight sponsors including the Sheffield Telegraph were able to watch outside the hospital on Western Bank as a glittering switch on event took place, complete with a brass band performing festive favourites.

They were told that the amount pledged through the snowflake appeal was £332,000.

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The Children's Hospital Charity turns on the Christmas snowflakes for 2021 Oliver Howe, aged seven, did the honours

Tchad Western, corporate partnerships manager at The Children's Hospital Charity, said: “That is a staggering sum for us.”

The switch on marks the start of Christmas for many people in Sheffield and beyond, particularly those who have had personal experience of the hospital and its care.

What started as just eight snowflake illuminations has grown, and this year there are more than 450 spread across eight sites for the first time.

Many businesses sponsor a snowflake year after year, but families, individuals and even communities have clubbed together to fundraise for a snowflake.

The Children's Hospital Charity turns on the Christmas snowflakes for 2021

This year the appeal will help raise funds for a much needed £6m helipad based on top of the children’s hospital, so more youngsters needing critical care can be seen faster and with more privacy.

Tchad said the team were hoping that this time next year they would be able to say they had completed the fundraising for the helipad.

He added: “They money you guys invest through snowflakes, it makes a real difference."

One youngster who knows the difference fundraising can make is Oliver Howe, the seven-year-old patient who turned on the snowflake lights.

The snowflake lights shining bright at Sheffield Children's Hospital

He has been under the care of ward six, the hospital’s new cancer and leukaemia ward, paid for thanks to local fundraising, including the Bears of Sheffield trail.

An excited Oliver and his family were able to count down from ten before he pushed a special button to switch on the lights for the 2021 Christmas season.

The snowflake illuminations are sponsored by Sheffield businesses, families, neighbours and organisations, including the Sheffield Telegraph for the first time this year