UEA launches funding appeal for world-leading bone and joint centre

The Norfolk Bone and Joint Centre Appeal was officially launched Thursday July 18th at a drinks reception at Norwich's Assembly Rooms. The appeal seeks to raise at least £1m towards the £3m fundraising target for the new Norwich Medical Research Building by the end of 2014.

The appeal for the Centre was launched by Richard Jewson, JP, MA, HonDCL, Pro Chancellor at UEA with an introduction given by appeal campaign member and local consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Keith Tucker. A key note speech was given by Prof Bill Fraser who will head the Norfolk Bone and Joint Centre.

Prof Fraser said: "When one considers the health needs of an ageing population, it's very clear that the chronic diseases of bone and joint are incredibly important to the individual, and of course extremely costly to the state, both in terms of surgery costs and care in the community. By supporting the new expert clinical research here we have a real opportunity to develop the knowledge necessary to prevent these diseases in the future, and improve their treatment now."

The Norfolk Bone and Joint Centre will be dedicated to researching and finding new treatments for chronic bone diseases including osteoporosis, arthritis, joint replacements and the bone disorder Paget's Disease.

The Centre, which is a joint venture between UEA and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), will be ideally placed to draw on the expertise of leading science institutions around the Norfolk Research Park (NRP) and the University.

Although UEA and NNUH have funded more than £16 million of the total £19 million cost of the research building, the Norfolk Bone and Joint Appeal hopes to raise £1 million through donations from the local community and charitable trusts, with a further £2 million in philanthropic gifts from corporate investment, national foundations and UEA alumni being sought.

The ambitious project also has the support of a number of leading medics and scientists. Former UEA lecturer and one time chief government scientific advisor Sir David King spoke in support of the development at a recent UEA alumni dinner at the Reform Club, London.

Keith Tucker, a local orthopaedic surgeon and member of the Norfolk Bone and Joint Appeal volunteer group said: "Norfolk has a proud history of innovation in the musculo-skeletal field and to see the vision of the University and the Hospital taking forward world class research together into these diseases is fantastic – it means that Norwich will remain at the forefront of medical discovery for many years to come. We are all extremely proud to be part of this appeal, and we urge everyone who can to help with a donation."

Following the launch and favourable coverage in the Eastern Daily Press on 19th July (see article here) a steady stream of donations have been made: online, and with cheques arriving at the Development Office, made payable to the Norfolk Bone and Joint Appeal.