Save Lewisham Hospital campaigners celebrate victory

The 'Spirit of Lewisham' event at the Rivoli ballroom. Pic: Andy Worthington

The ‘Spirit of Lewisham’ event at the Rivoli ballroom. Photo: Andy Worthington

Lewisham Hospital campaigners held a sell-out victory fundraiser at the Rivoli Ballroom in Crofton Park on Friday, September 27.

The “Spirit of Lewisham” event sought to celebrate the efforts of year long campaigning and fundraise the enduring battle to save the Lewisham A&E.

Save Lewisham Hospital campaign organiser, Jos Bell said: “’Even by our own very busy standards this has been an extraordinary week for the Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign. The amazing event at the Rivoli Ballroom shows the on-going strength of support from within the Lewisham community.”

At the fundraiser, hospital staff danced amongst the 700 people who enjoyed the event, raising money for the campaigning ahead. Entertainment included DJ sets by local artists such as rapper Question Musiq, who performed his single ‘I Need My A&E’.

Guests had the chance to enter a raffle that raised £1,000 and win prizes signed by Eddie Izzard and Jools Holland, as well as an original Guardian cartoon featuring Lewisham Hospital by artist Martin Rowson.

A spokesperson for the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign said: “We’re celebrating a victory for Lewisham and a victory for all! But we still haven’t won the war”.

After what seemed as an initial success against the juridical review, Secretary of Health Jeremy Hunt is taking to appeal the High Court’s decision to deny closure of Lewisham Hospital A&E.

Lewisham Hospital Clinical Director of Services for Children and Young People, Dr. Tony O’Sullivan said: “We are confident that the strength of our case will be upheld. However Mr Hunt chooses to spin it, we know that our A&E, ICU, paediatric and maternity services are essential to saving the lives of SE Londoners.

“Our commitment to defend the excellent services provided by Lewisham Hospital is unwavering.”

Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign chair Louise Irvine on stage at the Manchester NHS march. Pic: Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign

Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign chair Louise Irvine on stage at the Manchester NHS march. Photo: Save Lewisham Hospital Campaign

Following the victory dance, more than 100 campaigners travelled to Manchester on Sunday, September 29 to join the 40 thousand protesters fighting for the NHS to be protected.

Lewisham Hospital supporters took their distinctive banners and listened to their chair speak from the stage, “demonstrating that we are at the core of the national fight to save our NHS”, said Bell.

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