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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! 

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Brew up support for your local hospitals with a virtual Christmas Cuppa

This festive season, Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity are encouraging you to hold a ‘Care for a Christmas Cuppa’ virtual tea party.

As COVID continues to keep loved ones apart and has put paid to the traditional Christmas party, the dedicated charity supporting Epsom and St Helier hospitals and community services is giving local people the perfect excuse for a virtual catch up with friends and colleagues over a hot drink and a festive treat – while raising vital funds for your local health services.

Hosting a Care for a Christmas Cuppa event is as simple as one-two-tea! Just pick a virtual meeting platform that you know everyone can use – like Zoom or Microsoft Teams – and set up a fundraising page to collect the donations. Invite your friends, family and colleagues and either suggest a donation simply for the joy of joining in, or stir it up a bit, and turn it into a small entry fee to take part in the Christmas Cuppa quiz or even a bake-off style challenge. The quiz, along with other ideas and top tips, bunting and invites, are all available to download from the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals website at www.esthcharity.org.uk/get-involved/care-for-a-christmas-cuppa/.

Fundraising Manager, Sasha Phillips said: “This year, support your local hospitals and community services with Care for a Christmas Cuppa. Whether it’s a small coffee morning or a big par-tea, every penny raised can help the ward or department of your choice.

“Don your Santa hat and Christmas jumper, warm up a mince pie or indulge with a slice of yule log, put the carols on, and ease your guests into the festive spirit with our quiz. Forget big office blow-outs, this is the year for a new tradition.

“Care for a Christmas Cuppa is a way to help support our hospitals and community services during a time when it’s needed most. Winter is traditionally a critical time for hospitals and with the added challenges of the pandemic, any extra funds are much appreciated.”

If you’d like to host your own Care for a Christmas Cuppa event please visit www.esthcharity.org.uk/care-for-a-christmas-cuppa for more information including our virtual party tips. Alternatively, call 01372 735262 or email team@esthcharity.org.uk. Let us know how your party goes, as well as sharing pictures, on Twitter at @esthcharity.

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Frozen food retailer warmly supports local hospitals charity this Halloween

After already raising a ‘shockingly’ good £650 for Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity, Iceland in Wallington will be pulling out all of the Halloween stops this weekend to raise even more money for your local NHS services.

So if you fancy a bit of Halloween fun with your weekly shop, get yourself down to Iceland Wallington (covid restrictions allowing) this weekend. You might spot staff who, in return for a small donation, will be swapping their usual uniforms for fancy dress and will be channelling their inner witches and warlocks (and even Super Mario). On Saturday, there’s the chance to win some ‘spooktacular’ raffle prizes including a hamper for children and a hamper for ‘grown-ups’ as well as some beautiful home-crafted teddies – with profits going straight back to Epsom and St Helier hospitals.

The cuddly toys were knitted by regular customer and local resident Emma Honeyman, who was born at St Helier and had her two children there too. Tickets are a bargain at £1 for five and the draw will take place on Saturday 31 October.

The store’s fundraising has been driven by long-serving employee and tireless Charity Champion Joani O’Brien who said: ‘I think it’s so important to support local charities.  Many of the team here have, at one time or another been looked after by the hospitals so we thought that now, more than ever, was the right to time to try and give something back to them!”

The store will continue to support Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity throughout Christmas and the New Year, so keep an eye out for what they have planned next!

Sasha Phillips, Fundraising Manager at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity said: “Thank you so much to Joani, Iceland Wallington, and all their customers. This is a lovely example of a community coming together to support their local hospitals and community services. The money raised will go towards funding projects that go ‘above and beyond’ to improve patient experience and staff welfare. Winter is traditionally a critical time for hospitals and with the added burden of the pandemic any extra funds at this time are much appreciated!”

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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Health hero Helen makes masks for hospital charity

A member of the Radiology team at Epsom Hospital is supporting the hospital’s dedicated charity and helping members of the public to stay safe from COVID-19 by crafting bespoke face masks in her spare time.

In just a few weeks Radiology Two-Week-Referral Co-ordinator Helen Bullen has already made and sold her target of 1,000 face masks – with profits going to Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity.

Helen began selling the face masks after making some for her two daughters and receiving requests from friends. She said: “I wanted to make fun masks for my daughters so that they wouldn’t feel anxious wearing one. After sharing photos on social media, I was inundated with requests from friends to make more. I thought why not, I love sewing and I find it really relaxing making masks after a busy shift at the hospital.

 “As a member of the team at Epsom and St Helier and also as a local resident, I wanted to give something back and do something to support my colleagues during the pandemic.

On choosing to raise money for Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity, Helen added: “Everyone, from those working directly with patients with COVID-19 to those in administrative roles, has been working incredibly hard during the pandemic. Throughout this, our local communities have been amazingly generous – raising money for us and donating gifts and goods to our charity that have made a very real difference to us.”

Deputy Chief Executive Dr Ruth Charlton said: “We are so touched that after a busy shift at Epsom Hospital, Helen would give up her time to make these amazing masks to raise money for our charity. We owe her a huge thank you!

“Our staff have done an incredible job in caring for patients and helping to keep others safe during the pandemic, and Helen’s generous offer is testament to the commitment and passion of our staff.”

Some of the most popular patterns have included spots, bees, pugs and stripes, and Helen  also has several child friendly fabrics for facemasks, including footballs, flamingos and pirate skulls.

The face masks are made to order and available in 3 sizes (adult/teen /child) £4 each or 4 for £15 with £1 from each mask donated to the charity. To order contact Helen via Instagram www.instagram.com/helen.bullen.78 or by email hbullen78@hotmail.co.uk.

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Walk 4 Wards 2020

Less than one week to go!

In the wake of COVID-19, we asked our walkers to adapt our usual Walk4Wards event into a virtual one, giving them free rein on location and two months to complete the challenge.  Really, the only requirement was to cover the original 7.5 miles or to measure it in steps – 15,840 to be more precise! 

Many walkers have been able to take advantage of the glorious weather, exploring new routes and even stepping up the distance! 

With the virtual event finishing on 1 September, here’s hoping that other supporters will find the time to get their walk in before then. And so far over £8000 has been raised to support our local hospitals and community services!  Here are just a few examples of the fabulous fundraising:

  • SCBU Manager Gerry Cotter and her husband Deva Sahabandu have raised over £1000 to refurbish the parents room on the Special Care Baby Unit.
  • Community Matron Blessing Mazanzi and her daughter Violet have raised over £500 to help improve patient services on the Alex Frailty ward, and purchase a bladder scanner.
  • Team Sexual Health Striders have raised over £1300 to fund contraception, sexual health, and HIV services.

Check out some great ‘Finish line photos’ from Gerry, Blessing, the Striders and other Walk 4 Wards walkers at Flickr.

We have several more stories to share, but we’ll leave you with these headlines for now. We’re looking forward to the final countdown of photos and fun! And let’s not forget, the Trust is matching every penny raised!

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Gurkhas Give Generously

As a token of thanks to our staff, the South London Nepalese Gurkha Association has donated £1,154 to Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity.

The Association were so moved by the struggles faced by staff in recent months, and the unprecedented demand put on hospital services, that they desperately felt the need to give something in return.

For some members of the Association the donation was particularly personal – relatives who had caught coronavirus were cared for by St Helier’s ICU team for 25 days before, happily, being declared fit and healthy enough to return home to their families.

Fundraising Manager, Sasha Phillips, said: “Our communities have been overwhelmingly supportive of our local hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak. So we are yet again humbled to now receive this donation from our local Gurkha Association which will go towards providing additional support for staff wellbeing at the hospitals.”

If you would like to make a donation please visit Ways to give.