A successful fundraising appeal means that young children can now enjoy play time at the Countess of Chester hospital .
With the generous support, commitment and enthusiasm of members of the local community, local businesses and a local trust the hospital’s Children’s Unit now has a new interactive area and an upgraded and redesigned children’s sensory room.
Before recent developments there wasn’t an area for toddlers and babies to be able to play freely in the playroom which was originally designed for children of walking age. The sensory room was in serious need of upgrading and could no longer be used.
Gavin Jones from Connah’s Quay raised more than £7,000 towards the appeal with the support of his family and friends and Airbus where he works, who provided match funding.
Funds raised included sponsorship from Gavin’s bike ride from Fylton to Hawarden Airbus, from Becky Wright and Alison Lloyd, also from Airbus, who swam the channel and Sarah Jones, Gavin’s sister, who swam Lake Windermere.
Gavin and his wife Karen know how much their son, Aaron, who has cerebral palsy, enjoys the stimulation from his regular sessions at the hospital.
Nick Goold, the brother of play specialist Lynnette Goold, raised more than £1200 from a parachute jump and the trustees from Mrs T A Briggs Charitable Will Trust donated £5000 to the project.
Lynnette said: “We are delighted that in the sensory room we are now able to provide 1:1 multi-sensory sessions for children of all abilities. This will particularly benefit our long-term and regular patients who require extra support and stimulation. We now have somewhere parents can let their toddlers and babies play freely without excluding them from the social benefits of being in the playroom and interacting with children of all ages.”
Ngozi Ikoku, trust and legacy fundraiser for the hospital charity said: “The commitment, enthusiasm, bravery, passion and sheer determination of all those involved in realising this project has been astonishing. The hospital would like to thank all those who generously supported the appeal and made donations, over £19,000 was raised.”