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Calling all cyclists!

Our Divisional Director of Operations – Women & Children’s Services, Kathryn Hughes, is keen to form a an ESTH Charity Team for the Onyx Team Time Trial Road Bike on Sunday 15th May 2022 at Thruxton Race Track, Andover at midday (exact timings TBC). 

What is Team Time Trial cycling you may ask?  Quite simply it’s a road-based or arena bicycle race in which teams of cyclists race against the clock.  But it’s a very different type of challenge to an individual distance road event, involving strategy, team tactics as well as speed of course! Think of it as an opportunity to ride fast with a group of fellow cyclists on smooth tarmac and not a car in sight! 

Although Kathryn is already a super-duper TTT cyclist herself, what’s great about the event is that you don’t have to be!  Kathryn will be providing 2 x training rides (dates and venue TBC) and lots of tips.  The only requirements are that you can ride in clips on a road bike (no TT bikes allowed), are committed to the challenge and the charity fundraising of course.  The fundraising target is £400 (for the team) but there’s also the potential to win the event’s first prize which is £1000! 

If you’re interested and would like to know more, Kathryn will be holding a Teams call to answer any queries on Tuesday 5th April at 4pm. Or you can get in touch with Kathryn directly on 07812555994 or kathryn.hughes13@nhs.net.

For more information check out the Onyx event website and get more of taster from the You Tube Video below!

The entry cost per person is £27 and the deadline to sign up for an ESTH Charity team is 12 April. 

Each team consists of 4 people so the more people who sign up, the better! 

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Bowling club president bowls over St Helier staff with £2,000 donation!

Just over a year on from collapsing with Covid, Keith Woods, 75, and Wallington Bowling Club’s President and Men’s Captain, returned to St Helier Hospital to thank the team which saved his life and to present them with a generous £2,000 cheque.

Keith was admitted to St Helier’s respiratory ward in November 2020 where he remained in a critical condition for three months.  He was eventually allowed to return home and although his rehabilitation is ongoing, his family and many friends at Wallington Bowling Club continue to be amazed and overjoyed to have him back!

To show their appreciation, last year Keith and his fellow members unanimously chose to dedicate the fundraising from the club’s (delayed) centenary games to their local NHS.

Unfortunately, Keith himself wasn’t able to play but he said: “The £2,000 raised is just a small token of our immense gratitude to the all the wonderful doctors, nurses and other staff who looked after me.  Covid has changed my life forever but I know I’m one of the lucky ones and that I wouldn’t be here today were it not for all their hard work and dedication.”

Dr Thomas Medveczky, Consultant Physician in Respiratory and General Medicine at St Helier, who led on Keith’s care said: “We are delighted to see how well Keith is doing!  Of course we strive to do the very best for all our patients but it was such a nice surprise to learn about Wallington Bowling Club’s fundraising– it makes us very proud and privileged to have touched so many lives in this way and the money will help fund life-saving equipment for many more patients with Covid and non-Covid respiratory problems.”

Keith and his family also attribute his recovery to the Trust’s ‘Letters to Loved Ones’ service.  With no visitors allowed at the time, people could instead use the service to send in their well wishes which a staff member would then read aloud to Keith at his bedside. He received 87 letters and emails! Keith’s daughter Sarah, who lives in Australia, said: “During the most difficult time for our family, and with Dad in isolation in hospital for months, there’s no doubt in my mind that these supportive messages from family and friends made Dad keep fighting.”

So thanks to the care he received from all the teams at St Helier, Keith can hopefully look forward to getting back on the green and having a game or two again in the not too distant future. 

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Write a Will Week

Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity is launching a Write a Will Week which runs from 27 September to 1 October to highlight the importance of writing a will.

Whether you think your wishes would be considered quite typical or a bit more unconventional, a will is the only way to make sure your money, property, possessions and investments (known as your estate) go to the people and causes you care about. With no will, the law decides how to deal with your estate which is not something very many would want for their loved ones.

Yet 54% of UK adults still haven’t written a will.*

If you are one of them, Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity has teamed up with two reputable firms who are providing free will writing services to their supporters and to guide you through the process. 

Crown Law Solicitors LLP, a local solicitors’ firm based in Morden, are waiving their fees (normally £175-£350 +VAT ) to the first 15 supporters who book an appointment during our Will Writing Week starting Monday 27 September and finishing on Friday 1 October 2021. The appointment can take place in their office or remotely by phone or Zoom. Alternatively, you can contact national estate planning company Dunham McCarthy who provide a will writing service over the phone for ESTH supporters all year round.**

Gifts generously left in wills (also known as legacies) for Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity are a vital source of income which help towards funding those ‘above and beyond’ projects for the hospital and their community services. There is no obligation to leave a gift in your will to the Charity but if you would like to do so, for the benefit of future generations of patients and staff, it would be much appreciated.

To book your appointment with Crown Law Solicitors LLP, please call 0208 175 6733  or email enquiries@crownlawsolicitors.com and mention that you are booking as part of the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals ‘Write a Will Week’.

Please visit their website for more information: crownlawsolicitors.com

To book an initial 30 minute call with Dunham McCarthy please visit: dm-legal.co.uk/esthc/

*According to Which? research 2018

**Throughout the course of your consultation with a full qualified solicitor or estate planner, you may choose to use other services in preparing your will which may incur a cost. They will ensure that you are always provided with a full and transparent break-down of these costs and you are not obligated to accept any of these services.

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Iceland Wallington raises over £1200!

Once again frozen food retailer Iceland in Wallington and their customers have supported Team ESTH and raised over £1200 with their fun-tastic fundraising! During June and July, long-serving employee and Charity Champion Joani O’Brien donned her charity cap and helped raise funds with a range of in-store activities including a raffle and tombola.

Dr Neelani Nackeeran from St Helier hospital – and a Wallington resident – visited Joani and the team at Iceland this week to thank them for all their hard work and support throughout the year. And we’re pleased to report that we’ve been selected as their ‘Charity of the Year’ – so keep an eye out on what they have planned next!

Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity (registered charity number 1049197) always welcomes support from local people and businesses – if you would like to find out more about the charity, fundraise or make a donation, please email team@esthcharity.org.uk or call 01372 735262.

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Sutton Schools take inspiration from Captain Tom and raise £28,000 for their local hospitals!

On May Bank holiday weekend twenty primary schools across Sutton took part in the Captain Tom 100 Challenge to raise funds to support Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity. As long as they reached the target of 100, the young pupils could do whatever they liked. So they hopped, skipped, walked and ran their way to raising a staggering £28,000!

The fundraising will initially help fund services and equipment which was discussed and agreed upon by children at school council meetings held via Zoom before the event.  In recognition for all their hard work during the pandemic, the council chose first and foremost to support staff health and wellbeing. They also wanted to help the Magic Carpet appeal for Casey Ward’s young patients, and then they added a new bladder scanner for Urology to the list, and got to learn about why we have bladders at the same time!

To celebrate this massive achievement, forty pupils – two from each school – gathered on the Open Space in front of St Helier hospital. Collectively they handed over a huge cheque befitting the size of their fundraising to Deputy Chief Nurse Marion Louki, Hazel Gleed of the Women’s and Children’s Division, and Joanna Cooper of Urology who in turn took the opportunity to thank the children for their phenomenal efforts.

Marion Louki said: “Raising £28,000 for our hospitals is an absolutely remarkable amount! On behalf of my colleagues here today and everyone at Epsom and St Helier, we can’t thank the children enough, and all the grown-ups who no doubt gave them a helping hand! They are truly another shining example of our community, and also of the younger generation, coming together to thank and support their local NHS. They are ALL heroes.”

L-R: Joanna Cooper, Urology. Marion Louki, Deputy Chief Nurse. Hazel Gleed, Women’s and Children’s Division.
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St Christopher’s School supports Casey Ward

We were recently invited to a presentation at St Christopher’s School in Epsom to congratulate all the young pupils on raising an amazing £3094 for Casey Children’s Ward at Epsom Hospital! The school’s fundraising has made a huge contribution towards the ward’s Magic Carpet Appeal.

Deputy Head Boy Rumi and Deputy Head Girl Holly gave a speech summarising everyone’s fundraising ventures, which included using their pocket money from completing household chores (such as making their bed) which was then deposited in small Ambulance Money Boxes provided by the school. Rumi and Holly’s speech was followed by an orchestral interlude, and then Head Boy Reis and Head Girl Megan handed over the large cheque for Casey Ward. Also on show was a magnificent mosaic Magic Carpet created by the pupils.

Thank you St Christopher’s – we’re truly grateful for all the kindness and hard work of the children (and the grown-ups!)

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Congratulations on completing the Captain Tom 100 challenge!

Between Friday 30th April and Tuesday 4th May, around 20 schools across Sutton took part in the Captain Tom 100 challenge to raise money for #TeamESTH.

Pupils participated in sponsored walks, runs, hops, and skips to reach their 100 targets, and there was even a ‘guess how many sweets on the cake’ game – we’re thinking the lucky number was 100!

Thank you to all the pupils and organisers for choosing to support Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity with their mammoth fundraising event. We can’t wait to hear what the grand total is – we’re sure it’s going to be BIG!

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A helping hand for your hospitals

Constant hand-washing, use of anti-bacterial gels and wearing of PPE continues during the second Covid wave for our #TeamESTH colleagues. So we still welcome kind donations of hand creams and lip balms on their behalf. If you’d like to help out, and can, email Team@EsthCharity.org.uk or call 01372 735 262.

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Virtual Magic Carpet Appeal takes flight to enchant children at Epsom’s Casey Ward!

A new charity appeal to fund an interactive, digital ‘magic carpet’ for the young patients in Casey Ward at Epsom Hospital has just launched, with the soaring aim of bringing a ‘whole new world’ to the hospital’s dedicated childrens’ ward.

With a mobile projector, motion sensor and interactive mat, the magic carpet experience allows moving graphics and games to appear on the ground and reacts to movements – meaning patients can be transported to virtual seasides, or take part in a dance-off challenge!

And even more importantly, play can be touchless while the mat is easy to clean and sanitise between users. It comes with lots of pre-installed dancing and competitive games as well as educational themes to encourage physical activity, mental and sensory stimulation.  

Jessica Start, Play Specialist at Epsom Hospital, said: “In the current environment, this would be  a game changer for our lovely young patients. We know that children of all ages will enjoy its virtual technology – a toddler can pretend to splash around in the sea while a teenager can have a virtual kick-about. That’s why we’ve launched an appeal to try and get one for Casey Ward this year. We do know that times continue to be tough for people but if you are someone who can make a small donation, we would be immensely grateful.”

The Magic Carpet Appeal aims to raise the £8,000 needed to purchase and install the equipment. If you would like to make a donation and are able to spare some money at this time of year, you can do so at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/Casey-Carpet.

People are also very welcome to take on a sponsored challenge to fundraise for this appeal (or any other service at Epsom and St Helier) – please email our Charity Team at team@esthcharity.org.uk for more information and support.

Image courtesy of Sensory Guru

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Christmas toy appeal – what a great response!

During the run-up to Christmas, we launched our toy appeal for Casey Ward at Epsom, and Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children at St Helier.  We had a great response.  The generosity of our local communities has been fantastic throughout the pandemic, and once again we’ve been amazed by the resilience and willingness of the public to support their local hospitals.  

Together with our Play Specialists we set up an Amazon Wish List of items that were carefully selected to create ‘single use play packs’ along with plastic toys which can be deep-cleaned and sanitised before use by another child. 

Here’s Play Specialist Sarah Montgomery with a selection of the toys at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children, St Helier.

With the second wave, it looks like the play specialists will need to be creating play packs beyond the Twelve Days of Christmas! So, there’s still a chance to donate from the Wishlist if you’re able to.

In the meantime we’d like to send a big thank you to all the people who have donated so far, and to all our secret Santas too!