Fundraising Events


Date: 12 November 2021 | By: paul

Join our Webinar that offers viewpoints from Dr Shivaram Hedge, Consultant paediatric nephrologist and Clinical lead and Julie Mein, parent of Ffion, who is a kidney patient at the Children’s Kidney Centre, Cardiff. As well as progress updates from Alison Oliver, Clinical Service Lead for the Children's Hospital for Wales, and Joanne Popham from Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales, on the Charities goal to raise £132,000 for the refurbishment of the Children’s Kidney Centre, Cardiff.

The refurbishment of the Children's Kidney Centre, University Hospital Wales, Cardiff; The much-needed upgrade of the outpatient department and surrounding corridors will greatly enhance the experience for not only children and their families with kidney disease but will improve experiences for all families using the internal entrance to the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital. The refurbishment aims to provide a welcoming and calming environment, with updated private consultation rooms and a children's play/games area. Currently, it is a dark and depressive environment with very little natural light in the department. Through refurbishment, we hope to create a welcoming, warm, and comfortable space that promotes positivity and is accessible for patients, family, and staff.


This webinar will offer clarification on the progress of the refurbishment from Alison Oliver, Clinical Service Lead for the Children's Hospital for Wales. Updates from Joanne Popham, CEO at Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales about the charities involvement and target to raise £132,000 for this project. A presentation on ‘patient-centred perspective’ from Dr Shivaram Hegde, Consultant paediatric nephrologist and Clinical lead. Julie Mein, mum to Lili (age 12), and Ffion (age 11) who was diagnosed 6 years ago with Mainzer Saldino Syndrome (a rare genetic syndrome which affects the eyes, kidneys, and bones). Ffion successfully had her kidney transplant in February this year and Julie will be offering a parent’s perspective and the vital need for the refurbishment which is conducive to Ffion’s wellbeing whilst she is being seen in Clinic.

Following this will be an Open Q&A - Questions can be submitted prior to the Webinar to or can be asked via the chat function at the Webinar.


Nikkila Thomas – Children & Youth Support Coordinator, Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales

As Children & Youth Support Coordinator for Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales, I am passionate about children and young people, bettering their quality of life, ensuring access to education and services, and promoting the importance of emotional and physical well-being. My role at Paul Popham Fund is multifaceted but my primary focus is to support children and youths with kidney disease and their families.


My background is predominantly in music education, research, and community engagement. I am a recent vocal graduate from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and from there my love for working within the community grew.


I enjoy watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, going to the gym, listening to Podcasts, and drinking coffee.


Guest Speakers:


Dr Shivaram Hegde - Consultant paediatric nephrologist and Clinical lead

I am a consultant nephrologist looking after children with various kidney ailments, based at Children Kidney Centre (CKC). I, along with my team have provided valuable inputs regarding the nature and extent of refurbishment required, based on the needs of the patients and their families for better service delivery. As the clinical lead for the department, I represent CKC and am a contact point for Paul Popham charity in their noble efforts to raise funds for the refurbishment. All of CKC staff, Child Health directorate, patient representatives and concerned families wish to wholeheartedly help and support the charity in this endeavour.


I enjoy travelling, gardening, walking and sports in my free time, although social media is encroaching on these activities recently!


Alison Oliver, Clinical Service Lead for the Children's Hospital for Wales


Julie Mein – Parent

I have worked for Cardiff University for 30 years in a variety of different roles including a conference & event’s organiser, and more recently as an Executive Education Co-ordinator for Cardiff Business School. I also volunteer for the Paul Popham Fund as a peer mentor as well as helping to run the Parent and Carers Kidney Café Support Group and chairing the Fundraising Committee. The Committee was set up to help raise funds to refurbish the Children’s Kidney Centre.


I am also mum to Lili (age 12) and Ffion (age 11).  Ffion was diagnosed 6 years ago with Mainzer Saldino Syndrome (a rare genetic syndrome which affects the eyes, kidneys and bones).  She successfully had her kidney transplant in February this year.  I wanted to put my previous event organisation skills to good use to help plan and coordinate events for the refurbishment project.  With Ffion having partial sight, having good lighting is extremely important to her as well as being in an environment which is conducive to her wellbeing whilst she is being seen in Clinic so am extremely passionate about doing what I can to support the refurbishment project fundraising activities.


When I am not working or volunteering, I enjoy walking, sport, yoga and learning new languages (currently French, Spanish, and Hindi).


Joanne Popham – CEO, Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales

I am the CEO of the Paul Popham Fund, which aims to support all children, youths, and adults with kidney disease in Wales and their families to lead a better quality of life. The charity started in 2013 and we have been supporting the Children’s Kidney Centre since that date funding dialysis chairs, crafts for the dialysis unit, a part-time paediatric social worker, Christmas Days out to the Welsh Millennium Centre, individual patient grants for children that include and are not limited to, providing music lessons, laptops, clothes or just to support their family with daily living needs, we also support the Parents and Carers Kidney Café and are working with the Youth Worker to develop education for transition to adult services and exploring the possibility of providing a youth club. During the pandemic, we put a newsletter together with the aim of providing up to date information on the guidance. I am delighted that we as a charity are supporting the refurbishment of the outpatient's department of the Children’s  Kidney Centre, when Dr Shivaram Hegde and his team asked us to look at the project it was evident how much it was needed to be able to give patients, their families and staff a more welcoming and safe environment to visit and work in is going to be a lasting testament to all who have supported us to raise the funds for Dr Hegde and his team. This webinar is to show all interested parties why we are all behind the project.


In my spare time, I am a runner, I love running for the physical and emotional well-being it gives me, love travelling whether a city break in our beautiful country or abroad and love going to the cinema to watch many different genres except horror, and I am without a doubt a marvel fan!