Epsom and St Helier launched its first Christmas toy appeal in November, and thanks to all the generous support and help with donations from local people and organisations, we were able to give out presents to all our paediatric patients this festive season.
Our very own Santa Claus jingled all the way to Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children at St Helier to give out presents to the children in our care. The children were so excited to see Santa rocking around the Christmas tree, they gathered around to take photos and each receive a present. All of the donated gifts and presents have now been distributed across all our paediatric wards at both Epsom and St Helier by Santa’s helpers – our wonderful staff members.
The Pyjama Collection Hospital Charity also deserve a huge thank you, as they donated over 100 brand new pyjama sets for the children staying in the hospitals. From Marvel Comics to Beauty and the Beast themed sets, they most certainly made our young patients happy and even look forward to getting ready for bed!
Amanda Laughton, Play Specialist, said: “We launched the toy appeal as we felt it was really important for every child, whether inpatient or outpatient, to have a positive experience at this time of year. We know that attending hospital can be extremely daunting for children, and it is not nice to be injured or need hospital treatment – especially at Christmas. Presents have been a good way of making their stay a little more bearable and has helped to keep them distracted from feeling poorly.
“We are absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of our staff and everyone else who supported this cause. All the donations have helped to spread some joy to what can sometimes be a scary experience for children. We are so pleased for all the support we have received and would like to also thank: Toys’R’Us, Sutton Salvation Army, Merton Metropolitan Police, Carshalton High School for girls, Halifax in Epsom and Epsom Fire Brigade for all their lovely donations. The smile on the children’s faces said it all and it would not have been possible without everyone’s help. Thank you once again for brightening the day of a child in hospital this Christmas.”
A big thank you also needs to go to Kevin Walters, Security team Supervisor and the rest of our security team who managed to raise £310 for the toy appeal, which was matched by the ICTS security consultancy firm, bringing the total amount of funds raised to £620! ICTS UK Limited are responsible for supplying the security provisions for Epsom and St Helier University hospital Trust. Security team, Contract Manager, Paul Phillips said: “ICTS got involved with the toy appeal following an outcry from Kevin for a collection to be carried out by colleagues. The firm felt that this was a wonderful initiative and certainly one that deserved our support. A lot of the team, myself included, value our professional relationships with members of staff all over the Trust and are regularly made to feel part of the Epsom and St Helier NHS family.”