Saints legend set to kick off hospital's annual open day

Francis Benali

Saints legend Francis Benali will kick off Southampton General Hospital’s annual open day on Saturday (27 September) before touring the site to meet staff, patients and visitors.

The event, which is now in its sixth year, will see more than 100 events, activities and information stands available to enable visitors to go behind the scenes of one of the country’s largest teaching hospitals.

People will be able to walk through a pair of giant inflatable lungs, watch a virtual autopsy and tour the operating theatres, as well as meet leading Cancer Research UK (CRUK) scientists, try on a pair of simulation specs to understand different eye conditions and meet the Pets as Therapy (PAT) dogs.

In the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, experts will talk fitness with Mr Benali, who recently completed a three-week 1,000-mile run to all 20 Premier League football grounds to raise money for CRUK, and offer visitors a series of health tests.

There will also be an opportunity to see the helipad and look inside an air ambulance with a pilot and paramedics from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA).

Children will have a chance to zap the bad cells in a laser game, play stem cell pinball, dress up as a scientist, take their injured soft toys to the teddy bear hospital and get their arms plastered in the casting room.

Bev Davies, open day co-ordinator, said: “The hospital open day is a fantastic opportunity for people to learn more about health and research and participate in some fun activities.

“We are delighted Franny will be joining us this year, particularly as it is so soon after his remarkable fundraising efforts through Benali’s Big Run, and we look forward to getting him involved with some of the day’s events.”

The open day, which will incorporate the hospital trust’s annual general meeting, takes place on Saturday (27 September) from 11am to 3pm at Southampton General Hospital with free visitor parking for the duration of the event. For more information, visit or email

Posted on Wednesday 24 September 2014