Sheffield Scanner

Sheffield Scanner cause Sheffield Scanner Stories Sheffield Scanner Progress

Thank you for helping us reach our target!


The Sheffield Scanner appeal involved hundreds of people - from fundraisers, volunteers and patients, to researchers and clinicians who will be using the MRI-PET facility. We’ve collected a variety of stories to show how people will benefit from the Sheffield Scanner, and how others have helped to make it a reality.

Reaching £2 million

Thanks to generous support from over 11,000 donors we have raised £2 million pounds to establish a ground-breaking MRI-PET facility here in Sheffield.

Keep up to date with the next stages of construction of the Sheffield Scanner facility on the Progress page.

Donations received towards the Sheffield Scanner so far

Click here to read the full £2 million press release

Campus bucket collections raise over £1,800

Thank you to everyone who has dropped in any loose change into one of our Sheffield Scanner fundraising buckets around the campus.

We are extremely grateful to all our staff, students, and members of the public who decided to donate their loose change into one of our fundraising buckets in 17 locations around campus, whether that was in a café, a bar or one of our shops.

Collections across campus cafes

Read more about our Campus Bucket Collections

Sheffield Scanner team taking on the Sheffield 10K 2018

Our second year having a team for the Sheffield 10K was a great success! A massive thank you and congratulations to everyone on the University team who took part this year.

We’re incredibly grateful for the staff, students and friends of the University who took part in the run on Sunday 23 September for the Sheffield Scanner. The team altogether have raised more than £3,000 for the campaign.

Sheffield Scanner 10k team 2018

Read more about the Sheffield Scanner 10K team

The Big Walk 2018: The results are in

After the main event in June we’ve totalled all the donations towards the Big Walk 2018 and an amazing £86,000 has been raised. A total of 324 intrepid members of staff, students, alumni and friends of the University came together and covered over 8,500 miles – the equivalent of walking from Sheffield to Darwin in Northern Australia.

Thank you to everyone who took part walking, sponsored a walker, or volunteered on the day to make it all possible.

Read more about the event of the Big Walk 2018

Appeal to bring the future of medical imaging to Yorkshire reaches £1.5 million milestone

Our appeal to bring a revolutionary medical imaging scanner to Yorkshire to accelerate pioneering research into devastating diseases and give patients access to ground-breaking clinical trials, has reached the £1.5 million milestone.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, Vice-President and Head of Medicine, Dentistry and Health at the University of Sheffield, said:

“We have been overwhelmed by the response to the Sheffield Scanner Appeal and the generosity of thousands of individuals and groups who have helped us to reach the £1.5 million milestone,”

Thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign. We now have one final push to reach our £2 million target.

Click here to read the full £1.5 million milestone story

Transforming research - Parkinson's

The Sheffield Scanner will help our research into the mechanisms behind a variety of diseases, as well as helping the development of new treatment options. We spoke to Andrew about his experience of being diagnosed with and living with Parkinson’s disease, and to Professor Oliver Bandmann, one of our leading neurology researchers, about how the Sheffield Scanner will benefit our research.

Our supporters - The Big Walk 2018

Before and during the Big Walk 2018 we met hundreds of staff, students, alumni and friends of the University who were passionate about taking on the challenge and supporting the Sheffield Scanner.

James Hill and his team of super-heroes taking on the Big Walk 2018

James Hill took part in the Big Walk in 2015 and 2017, and wanted to come back for more in 2018 having loved the atmosphere. James also understood the importance of the cause he was supporting:

“The Sheffield Scanner is a vital piece of medical machinery that can help many people in and around Sheffield. It will also help our Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health, and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals evolve further with vital research to find preventative or curable measures to life threatening illnesses.”

“When it comes to fundraising, fancy dress has always been a big hit with me. For the 2015 Big Walk I dressed up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz … With that in mind, I have managed to ‘persuade’ various colleagues across Student Services to join me in another fancy dress themed walk as ‘The Student Services Superheroes’.”

Emily Goodall and the #ResearchWell team

Dr Emily Goodall saw the benefits that the Big Walk can have on mental health and used it as a way to promote wellbeing among PhD students while supporting a great cause:

“I had a great experience last year, with the training walks, team spirit, fresh air, countryside and meeting some amazing people along the way. I realised that the event is actually a great thing for wellbeing and from my role at the University I know there is a need to raise awareness around and look after the wellbeing of our PhD student population. So I decided to pull a team together of PhD students, supervisors and staff from across the University - under the team name #ResearchWell.

“The second reason is the scanner itself. Neurodegeneration, and the importance of early diagnosis, is a cause very close to my heart as a former researcher in the Department of Neuroscience for many years.”

Sheffield Scanner fly-through

Take a look at a virtual fly-through of the new Sheffield Scanner facility, and read more about this fantastic new development coming soon to Sheffield.

Read more about the new Sheffield Scanner facility

Sheffield Scanner appeal tops £1 million

The ambitious campaign to bring an MRI-PET scanner to Sheffield has now broken through the £1 million barrier thanks to widespread support from staff, current and former students, members of the local community and friends of the University. From generous one-off gifts to sponsored sporting events, quiz nights and bake sales, more than 5,500 donors have helped the project reach this major milestone.

"This is a significant achievement, given that the fundraising campaign started less than 12 months ago," says President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett. "How have we got here? It is thanks to the hard work and generosity of the University of Sheffield community who have got behind this campaign and have helped us reach that £1 million milestone in record time. The potential power of MRI-PET is quite incredible and I look forward to the scientific discoveries and clinical breakthroughs that will come from our internationally-leading research teams here at Sheffield once the new facility is up-and-running," he said.

However you are supporting the Sheffield Scanner campaign - thank you.

Click here to read the full £1 million milestone story

Our supporters

Meet Tracy Woodward, from the University of Sheffield Medical School, who has seen the debilitating effects of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and Parkinson's Disease within her family. The Sheffield Scanner will accelerate research into both of these conditions, leading to improved treatments that could change, or even save, patients' lives.

Our supporters - Sheffield Half-Marathon 2018

After being diagnosed with type one diabetes Hannah Postles thought her running life was over, but in 2018 she decided the Sheffield Scanner was the perfect cause to challenge that idea.

Hannah taking part in the Sheffield Half Marathon

“At the start of this year, I decided to start running again and set myself the goal of the Half Marathon, raising money for the Scanner in the process. I never want to let my diabetes stop me from doing anything and, although it hasn’t been easy training, I am learning a lot more about how to manage my condition. My first major success was actually getting myself to the gym to do my first run, which went far better than I expected. Since then, I've felt more and more confident and it feels really good to be exercising again - physically and mentally.”

Martin Brook is a Computational Imaging Scientist at the University, and is an expert in the MRI technology within the Scanner. He took on the Sheffield 10k in 2017 in support of the Sheffield Scanner.

Martin Brook after the Sheffield 10k

“I've worked for the University for 15 years and I've been directly involved in supporting MRI research for most of this time, and I've seen the benefits of this technology first hand. So I'm excited about the possibilities offered by MRI-PET and that's why I wanted to support the appeal.”

“I took part in the Big Walk One Day Challenge last year but I missed out on taking part in the Big Walk this year because I was recovering from surgery, so when the opportunity to take part in the Sheffield 10K came along I jumped at the chance.”

Marie Hezseltine, Senior Financial Support Officer at the University, was spurred on to support the Sheffield Scanner campaign having lost two close family members to cancer. 

Marie preparing for the Big Walk

“My sister-in-law was diagnosed with cancer in January 2016 and then in June of the same year I lost my dad to cancer,”

“Unfortunately, after fighting for the last year my sister-in-law also lost her battle with cancer.

“I thought if I could do something to help raise money for the new scanner that could identify major diseases like cancer, dementia and MND – and help to keep families together then I needed to do it.

“It is so important for Sheffield to have its own scanner in order to help treat patients quicker and closer to their own homes.”

Transforming research - cancer

The Sheffield Scanner will help our research into the mechanisms behind a variety of diseases, as well as helping the development of new treatment options. We spoke to Brian about being diagnosed with and treated for lung cancer, and to Dr Matthew Hatton, about how the Sheffield Scanner will improve our radiotherapy treatment and increase the number of patients we can help.

Campaign for the future of medical imaging reaches £750,000

The University of Sheffield is one step closer to bringing the most advanced medical imaging technology to Yorkshire, having raised £750,000 for its Sheffield Scanner appeal to provide an MRI-PET facility for the region.

The £2 million campaign has seen a significant boost in donations following The Big Walk fundraising challenge, which saw 272 people walk up to 50 miles in just 24 hours. The walkers, along with a host of other community fundraisers, have contributed over £138,000 towards the total since the campaign launched in March 2017. Contributions have also been received from charitable trusts and foundations, legacy gifts and generous individual donations.

Thank you to everyone who has got behind the campaign so far, from the Big Walk-ers, to our other community fundraisers, to everyone who has donated in support of a fundraiser or the cause in general.

Click here to read the full £750,000 milestone story

Our supporters - The Big Walk 2017

Look back at the Big Walk 2017 which raised over £80,000 towards the Sheffield Scanner

Wendy opened her home up to participants of the Big Walk 2017

Not all support for the Sheffield Scanner has come through running though. When Wendy Jackson saw the Big Walk 2017 was passing her front door at the 39 mile mark she welcomed walkers into her home to provide rest and refuelling.

“We knew straight away that we wanted to get involved in supporting the campaign but recognised our limitations in respect of a 50 mile walk! When we saw the route was literally passing our door, it seemed obvious to provide some hospitality.”

“We are working closely with lots of University volunteers and it feels great to be part of the team. I can't wait to see the head-torches coming down the riverside and up the lane as the night falls.”

Gavin Brown and the team from Accommodation and Commercial Services provided welcome support and sustenance during the Big Walk 2017 and will be reprising their role in 2018. Describing the 2017 event Gavin said:

“I’m one of several volunteers from ACS and Unicus supporting the Big Walk by providing food and drink. We wanted to do our bit to support the event. Some of our colleagues are taking part in the walk, and David Whittaker and Peter Anstess are even considering running it!
“From 9am to midnight on Friday, we’re providing all of the catering services for the walkers, at Over Haddon community centre and at the marshal points along the route.”

“I’m looking forward to being there cheering on the walkers and providing much needed refreshments to boost everyone's spirits.”

The ACS team provided a welcome rest at the mid-point of the Big Walk 2017

Transforming research - MND

Gemma Middleton is currently living with MND and spoke to us about what her day-to-day life is like. We also spoke with Professor Christopher McDermott about how MRI-PET will help us in the fight to detect and treat this devastating disease.

Sheffield Scanner reaches £500,000 milestone

After launching our campaign in March 2017, we are delighted to have raised over 25% of our £2 million target in just three months. None of this would be possible without the fantastic generosity of our supporters, including those who have already donated to help us reach £500,000, but also to everyone who has gotten behind the cause to raise awareness and fundraise through their own events.

At the end of June, we will see over 250 alumni, staff, students and friends take part in the Big Walk 2017, and we cannot wait to get out on the trail with you all, and to help you raise tens of thousands of pounds for our cause. We continue to be amazed by your incredible drive, both as you train for the challenge, and in the range of creative ways you are finding to help make this project a reality.

Thank you for all your support so far, and good luck to those of you with the Big Walk ahead.

Click here to read the full £500,000 milestone story

Transforming research

Take a look below to read about some of the research areas that will benefit from the MRI-PET scanner.

Changing the way we diagnose neurodegenerative diseases

Changing the way we diagnose neurodegenerative diseases

Current treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Motor Neurone Disease (also known as ALS in the United States), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease focus on alleviating symptoms and, at best, provide only modest benefit. There is an urgent need to develop new treatments that can slow or halt the progression of disease and diagnose conditions earlier so that treatments can be introduced before irreversible brain damage has occurred.

The ability to combine more detailed information about metabolic abnormalities with structural resolution will enable us to identify early risk factors and discover novel imaging biomarkers. This will overcome a major barrier to early diagnosis and provide a more accurate diagnosis, staging and prognosis of disease.

Transforming treatment for cancer patients

Transforming treatment for cancer patients

Approximately 50% of all cancer patients will receive radiotherapy to shrink tumours and kill cancer cells. Two of the major challenges in radiotherapy are to accurately define the tumour and deliver the highest dose of radiotherapy to the target whilst sparing the surrounding healthy tissue. The advanced sensitivity available through MRI-PET has the potential to improve treatment of a range of previously hard to reach cancers and will enable us to precisely target a tumour and adjust treatment, in-near real-time, according to how the cancer is responding in each individual patient.

Research has also demonstrated that MRI-PET is superior in the detection and diagnosis of different cancers, especially small tumours.

Reducing long-term disability in acute stroke patients

Reducing long-term disability in acute stroke patients

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and the biggest cause of adult disability. Most strokes are caused by a blockage of one or more blood vessels in the brain with a blood clot. Research shows that thrombectomy (removing the blood clot from the brain using specialised catheters) can dramatically reduce disability after a stroke if the treatment is started within 6 hours.

Unfortunately, most people arrive in hospital too late for such treatment as in many cases their brains are already too severely injured. MRI-PET could be used in acute stroke cases to locate areas of the brain that could still be saved, which current technology is not sensitive enough to identify. This could have an immense impact on treatment and in many more patients, long-term disability might be reduced.

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