Future Faces members have chosen the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust as its charity of the year.

During the next 12 months, Future Faces will be raising money for a newly-launched appeal which will see the construction of a purpose-built £3.5m bereavement centre at the Women’s Hospital, the first to be established in a hospital setting.

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust was only set up in February 2017, and is the first of its kind in the UK. It runs two of Birmingham’s best known hospitals, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Women’s Hospital.

The trust said that its mission was “to drive forward our commitment to providing the highest quality, world-class care that women, children and families want, and deserve.

“Uniting our hospitals means more seamless care, more investment to make greater advances in our specialist treatment and world-leading neo-natal and foetal work. Importantly, it also gives us a greater voice in shaping the future of family-centred care.”

The trust oversees the activities of a team of 6,000 medical staff and its hospitals receive around 641,000 patient visits each year.

The trust’s hospitals have a long history of medical achievements, including fitting the world’s first pacemaker into a three-day-old baby, being the first in the world to separate twins conjoined at the spine, performing the first triple transplant of liver, pancreas and small bowel in the UK and being the first in Europe to rebuild a section of a child’s missing spine with metal rods

The hospitals were also the first to establish the country’s first premature baby unit.

During the coming year, Future Faces will be focusing on raising funds for the trust’s Woodland House project, which is the £3.5 million bereavement centre where people can recover from receiving devastating news in peaceful, calm surroundings.

Building work on Woodlands House will not begin until all of the funding for it is in place.

Future Faces manager Anna Assinder said: Future Faces manager Anna Assinder said: “There’s a lot of important work going at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, they are one of the only two dedicated women’s hospitals in the UK and I was amazed to learn they provide services to over 50,000 women, men and families each year.

“Out of all the incredible work they do, there’s perhaps none more important than the Woodland House project, the first of its kind in the UK.

“Everyone on the Future Faces committee was incredibly impressed with the work being done at the Women’s Hospital Charity and we’re delighted to be offering up our support during the next 12 months to help play a small part in building the legacy of the Woodland House project for, not just the region but also the UK.”

Future Faces president Mark Hipwell said: “I’m honoured to announce we’ve selected the Birmingham Women’s Hospital as this year’s Future Faces Charity of the Year. Not only celebrating the brilliant work the hospital does in Birmingham and the wider West Midlands, as a fairly unique hospital serving thousands of new births each year but also lifesaving research in surgery and medicine.

“We’re also honoured to be able to support the first major appeal for nearly ten years to build a new dedicated support centre for parents suffering from bereavement.

“Woodland House will be a dedicated centre where families can spend time together in safe surroundings before they feel ready to face the world again. It will be amazing promoting such a worthwhile cause offering support to parents dealing with challenges I can’t even comprehend.”

Saranne Moreno, corporate strategic partnerships manager at Birmingham Women’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are thrilled that Future Faces has chosen to support our Woodland House Appeal this year.

“Once Woodland House has opened, women and couples facing the terrible shock and distress of loss will be able to spend time together as a family in a quiet, non-clinical space away from the hustle and bustle of the main hospital.

“While we can never ease their heartbreak, we can create an environment that recognises and honours their loss. We thank Future Faces for supporting us in helping to make Woodland House a reality.”