Archie Founder becomes a Patron of the Charity

20/06/2024

Full circle for Prof George Youngson, who also takes over the fundraising committee for the neonatal unit.

A member of the original fundraising board at The Archie Foundation has come full circle after being appointed a patron of the charity he helped to found.

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Professor George Youngson CBE, Emeritus Professor of Paediatric Surgery, has taken on the role of patron as well as chairing Archie’s Neonatal Committee, which oversees the charity’s work to support neonatal services and its Baird Family Hospital Fundraising Appeal.

Archie’s Baird Appeal aims to raise £2 million to help ‘deliver the difference’ at the new hospital, providing finishing touches and additional specialist equipment which transform the clinically state of the art hospital into a world-class facility.

More than £1 million has been raised already to support babies and families.

Prof Youngson, who was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2009 for services to child health in Scotland, has enjoyed a long and illustrious career in children’s medicine.

He was part of the working group which started The Archie Foundation, having been involved in the planning of the current Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital as well as the charity in all its different affiliations.

George’s late wife Sandie was a local artist who regularly contributed her work for auction in support of The Archie Foundation.

After graduating from Aberdeen University Medical School in 1973, Prof Youngson undertook research and training in several countries before being appointed as consultant general surgeon at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in 1984 and then consultant paediatric surgeon at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital in 1988. 

He was previously council member and vice-president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and was co-convener of the college’s Safer Operative Surgery Course and Non-Technical Skills (NOTSS) Master Classes.

Prof Youngson’s major interests are in surgical education, research into human factors related to surgical performance and service configuration for children’s specialist care. 

The father of three and grandfather of eight said he was delighted to have been asked to become a patron of the charity he helped to found.

He said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Archie Foundation as a patron, it almost completes the circle – having been a paediatric surgeon in Aberdeen since 1984 and being integrally involved in the establishment of The Archie Foundation and the subsequent design and opening of the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital in 2004.

Being involved in the Baird Family Hospital and the new neonatal unit is a natural continuation of past endeavours.”

The new fundraising committee encompasses the Friends of the Neonatal Unit, which is now part of the wider Archie Foundation.

The charity was set up in 2000 to transform experiences and outcomes in healthcare and bereavement for babies, children and their families across the north of Scotland.

Prof Youngson added: “Archie is a charity which is extremely close to my heart and I’m also pleased to have taken over as chair of the Neonatal Committee. The new hospital includes maternity and neonatal services and will make a huge difference to all the babies and families who use it.

“We have already reached the £1 million milestone and continue to fundraise to enhance the clinical services provided by the NHS to make hospital stays more comfortable and easier for premature and sick babies and their families, including the provision of financial grants and accommodation.”

Situated on the Foresterhill site, the new hospital is currently under construction. Paula Cormack, chief executive of The Archie Foundation, welcomed Prof Youngson’s appointment as patron.

She said: “George has been at the heart of The Archie Foundation since it was founded more than 23 years ago and we are incredibly fortunate to have his experience, expertise and compassion as we continue to grow as a charity.

“From supporting families in Aberdeen, we have now expanded to help babies and children in Tayside and the north of Scotland too, and our patrons play a vital role in raising awareness of the support we offer when a little one is in hospital or after a bereavement.”

The Archie Foundation aims to transform experiences and outcomes in healthcare and bereavement for babies, children and families across the North-east, Tayside and the Highlands and Islands.

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