A Southampton charity that has raised millions of pounds to support hospital patients in the city is celebrating its ninth birthday and is encouraging people to donate.

The Daily Echo-backed Southampton Hospital Charity has raised more than £18million since it started and keeps working to benefit any ward or department across Southampton General Hospital and Princess Anne Hospital.

Michelle Wheeler, the charity's fundraising manager, said: “Southampton Hospital Charity officially started on 10 November 1995, and successfully re-launched on 11 March 2008.

"Since then it has gone from strength to strength and now raises over £2.1 million a year.”

Throughout the years the charity has fundraised for many causes including the building and equipping a new Haematology Day Unit for patients with blood disorders.

It has also helped fund the renovation of part of the neonatal intensive care unit to improve the parents accommodation and the purchase of several new machinery.

Now it is suggesting people some fundraising ideas such as cake sale, Easter egg hunt, coffee mornings and a charity car wash.

The charity is aiming to raise £2million before summer 2018 to build a dedicated Emergency and Trauma Department for the youngest patients at Southampton Children’s Hospital.

To get involved call 023 8120 8881 or email charity@uhs.nhs.uk.