Relay Riders UK were raising money for Friends of PICU throughout 2015. With the support and efforts of all the riders, we raised a grand total of £1,566.


This is to help support families and children who are admitted into the PICU unit. 


£1,566 raised! Thank you everyone

Click the link below to read the newspaper report on 2015 via The Daily Echo 

Relay Riders Uk Supporting Friends of PICU


To Donate via Relay Riders uk to Friends of PICU, click the button below to go straight to our secure fundraising page.



Who are Friends of PICU? 


Friends of PICU are a registered charity who support the Peadiatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital who provide first class care and treatment to 900+ critically ill children every year from all over the South of England and the Channel Islands.


PICU was set up in 2006 by nursing staff on the unit and the parents of children who have been cared for on PICU. The charity is run by the Trustees who are helped by volunteers.


Friends of PICU aim to support the children and their families by providing vital equipment and services that are not normally provided by the statutory authorities. The charity maintains the family accommodation on the unit which has recently undergone a major refurbishment PROGRAM. 

The charity is also funding a psychologist for a period of 3 years to provide help to children and their families. The psychologist provides support for patients, families and staff on the Unit. Many people find that the experience of time on PICU can be traumatic. Our psychologist can help people to discuss their feelings and help them to reconcile these feelings.

What do PICU spend their funds on?
Picu buy equipment that they need to maintain the high standards of care that exist – these are some of their recent purchases:


Oxygen Head boxes (maintains required oxygen levels for babies)

Bedside trolleys

Sofa for waiting room

Biliblanket (for the treatment of neonatal jaundice)

Digital camera and printer for the Bereavement team. 

Electronic games for the older children

Apnoea Alarms (to detect breathing in babies)

Breast pumps

Sonisite Machine (to detect blood vessels)

SIPAP (for non-invasive ventilation of babies)

Bereavement memory boxes

Comfy chairs for parents

PICU Ambulances


Equipment purchases are only half of the picture. Whilst it is true that the majority of our funds go towards buying the life-saving equipment that is not provided by the statutory authorities, we go a lot further than this. We buy arts and crafts items for the children, socks to keep small feet (and hands) warm and portable DVD players for the older children.

All of our activities and purchases depend on the generosity and fundraising of our friends and supporters, so please donate now!

Registered Charity Number 1116880.



Who has PICU helped?


A Personal Message from a mum, to all our riders and supporters.


When I was 20 weeks pregnant, we discovered that my baby was going to be born with a heart condition (transposition of the greater arteries) and would require open heart surgery within the first few days of her life. My daughter, Sophie, was born on 5th July 2011 at Southampton Hospital. Within hours of her being born she was whisked off to the PICU ward (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) so she could undergo a minor procedure to try to ensure that she had enough oxygenated blood being pumped around her body. She spent the first night of her life on the PICU ward being looked after by their excellent staff around the clock. The next day she was transferred to the Ocean ward, the ward for paediatric cardiac patients. Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that the minor procedure Sophie had undergone was not successful. This meant she would have to have a drug adminstered 24/7 until she was strong enough to undergo open heart surgery. The drug was administered via a drip but unfortunately Sophie's canula sites kept failing and getting infected, which meant many, many attempts to find a new viable site. This was not always easy and we quickly discovered that Sophie could go a maximum of 3 hours with the drug before her blood oxygen levels fell critically low. On many occasions the PICU doctors had to be called upon to come and help find a new viable site. When sophie was 7 days old (the night before she was due to have her operation) her canula sites failed again, and after 2 hours of the Ocean Ward staff attempting to find a new one the PICU staff were called upon once again to help. They decided that the best option would be to take her into theatre and prep her ready for her surgery in the morning, which would mean she would be sedated an extra night, but would have a central line in to administer the drug that she needed. Early the next morning Sophie was taken to theatre to being her open heart surgery. Transposition of the greater arteries, is a heart condition that means that the arteries are in the wrong positions, meaning that oxygenated blood is not pumped around the body correctly. To correct this Sophie needed to have an arterial switch. The surgery took 6 long long hours, and while they were operating they discovered that Sophie also had 10 holes in her heart, which they managed to successfully close. After Sophie's surgery she spent 5 days sedated on the PICU ward, where they constantly had to keep adjusting and readjust her medication, blood transfusions and amount of milk allowed to ensure that Sophie's heart was able to adjust to the changes. She was woken up when she was 14 days old and was transferred back to the Ocean Ward the following day. She quickly recovered and was soon strong enough to come home when she was 19 days old.

All of the staff on the PICU ward are magnificent, they deal with all the critically ill patients under the age of 16. Each patient is different and has a different illness, and they all get the best care possible. Every patient receives 1-1 care 24/7 and is constantly monitored. Friends of PICU is the charity assocciated with the PICU ward and they help to raise money for essential equipment (which is not funded by the authorities), they also maintain the accommodation for parents, which ensures that they can be close by their children.


Thank you for choosing to support Friends of PICU for your next relay ride, I hope you all have a safe ride and raise lots of money.

Anne Allen.


For more stories like Anne and Sophie please click below to go to the Friends Of PICU, family stories page