The Emergency Department Appeal was launched at a lunch hosted by catering firm Sodexo.

And the 200-plus people present saw the first ‘official’ donation served-up.

Sodexo staff, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Bridget Fletcher and interim medical director Harold Hosker handed over a contribution to Meg Crossley, an A&E consultant and driving force behind the appeal.

Everyone at the lunch received an invitation to text EDAP50 £5 to 70070 to make their own donation.

Bridget said: “We are delighted Sodexo hosted this informal event for us, and we look forward to hearing more about its plans to help us fundraise during the next few months.

“This appeal offers Sodexo staff and executives a great way to feel even more involved in the hospital.”

Although the event was primarily designed to raise awareness, ‘substantial’ donations were made on the day.

Lara Beardsell, food services manager for healthcare at Sodexo, said: “It is a real pleasure to work with the fundraising team on this appeal.

“We have been thinking of some really exciting ways we can help raise funds to support such a good cause.”