Midlanders are being urged to wear something red next month to help Birmingham Children's Hospital reach its £500,000 target to complete its new burn centre.

Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Randal Brew (Con, Northfield), was joined by teenager Max McPherson - the first person in Britain to survive 90 per cent burns - in launching Wear Red Day, which takes place on October 5.

The 16-year-old suffered horrific injuries and is lucky to be alive after an accident at his Solihull home in June 2005, in which he lost several fingers and toes and was left severely scarred.

Max, an ardent Birmingham City fan, was presented with a special red club shirt by Coun Brew at yesterday's launch at the Council House.

Wear Red Day will coincide with the Brum Rocks concert at the Town Hall, which is also supporting the hospital's Red Balloon Appeal.

The new £19 million Burn Centre is due to be officially opened next month.

When the appeal was launched in May, Max was preparing to sit GCSEs in English and Maths which he passed successfully.

Working with a home tutor, he is now focusing on further exams but is keen to pursue a career in IT.

He said: "I want to be able to work from home, on my PC, one day. I'm still working at home with my tutor on further exams for the next few years.

"I am happy to help with the appeal, and hope people will wear red on October 5."

People across the city are being asked to pay at least £1 to the Red Balloon Appeal, which is backed by The Birmingham Post, to wear something red that day.

Fundraisers have already managed to hit the £300,000 mark, but hospital chairman Joanna Davis hopes the Red Balloon Appeal will have reached £500,000 before Christmas.

She added: "We want to reach the half million mark before then, sooner rather than later, and there are a number of big events coming up like Brum Rocks which should help us achieve that goal.

"We hope by people making donations to wear something red on October 5, along with money raised by the Brum Rocks concert that evening, to reach that target sooner rather than later."

The new Burn Centre will care for one out of every two children in England with severe burns, and is the first facility of its kind in the country.

Coun Brew said: "Although I've got my own mayoral charities this year to support, I realise I shouldn't have tunnel vision when it comes to other good causes.

"I think that Wear Red Day is going to be a fun event, and I certainly will be encouraging all my council colleagues to do so and to give generously to the Red Balloon Appeal.

"I know people do suffer from 'charity fatigue' because it does seem we're always being asked to put our hands in our pockets for something.

"However as a parent, although my children have grown up, I know if they had a serious accident or illness I would want them to benefit from the excellent facilities at the Children's Hospital.

"I think all parents can understand that."