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The Captain Tom 100 Challenge

ESTH Charity is getting behind The Captain Tom 100 Challenge and we would love you to get involved this month and help raise funds for your local hospitals! Whether you go solo or join a team, all you need to do is come up with a challenge based around the number 100 and to do it between Friday 30th April and Monday 3rd May.

Ideas include:

Organise a 100 mile/km cycle ride

Walk 100 laps of your garden

Bake 100 cup cakes

Stay silent for 100 minutes

Sing for 100 minutes

Do 100 hula-hoops

The world is your oyster with this challenge. There are no rules (apart from Government guidelines on the roadmap out of lockdown) and it’s open to everyone.

Do it your way and have fun! For more information and to sign up, go to Just Giving or Virgin Money Giving today!

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It’s a kind of magic – children’s ward appeal flies high with Theo the Magician !

Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity is delighted to announce that award-winning Theo the Magician will be hosting a fun interactive online magic show to raise money for the dedicated children’s ward at Epsom Hospital.

Theo the Magician’s magical event will support Casey Ward’s appeal to fund a ‘magic carpet’ for the young patients on the ward. With a mobile projector, motion sensor and interactive mat and lots of preinstalled games and apps, the Magic Carpet provides children with a range of activities for physical, mental or sensory stimulation, from being transported to a virtual seaside, to taking part in a dance off or completing a puzzle.  

And even more importantly for these times, play can be touchless while the mat is easy to clean and sanitise between users.

Well know Sutton resident and member of the prestigious Magic Circle and Equity, Theo Theodoris, normally performs shows all over Surrey and South London, but is currently delighting young audiences using the magic of zoom to bring abracadabra into the room!

His show, exclusively for the Magic Carpet Appeal, will be at 10am on Saturday 10 April. Bookings will remain open until midday on Friday 9 April. The show will last around an hour and will contain tricks, illusions, and games to suit children of all ages.

For your invitation and more information, the Charity and Theo kindly request a minimum donation of £10 for every child who watches the show. Every penny will go towards the appeal.

This won’t be the first time Theo has chosen to support his local hospitals. Back in 2003 he raised a staggering £17,000 for St Helier’s neonatal unit who saved the life of his daughter Elena who was born 10 weeks early and weighed just 2lbs. Since then, he has continued to hold numerous fundraising events for the unit bringing the total, so far, up to £25,000! This includes his Magic Sunflower Competitions and during last year’s lockdown he also chose to donate some of the fundraising to the Charity’s Covid Appeal.

Theo said: “I’m delighted to be able to help entertain the kids with my fun interactive magic show while at the same time helping Casey Ward get this exciting piece of equipment, powered by digital magic! Unfortunately, I know all too well the anguish of having a child who is very poorly and needs hospital care. But I also know that the children’s team at Epsom always know what’s best for their young patients and are fully committed to them. I have no doubt that this magic carpet will make a real difference to the kids on Casey Ward.”

To book your ticket for Theo’s magic show, please make your donation at virginmoneygiving.com/fund/Casey-Carpet (you can do this as a guest). Then email team@esthcharity.org.uk with your contact details and the number of children participating, and their ages. Alternatively, you can donate over the phone by calling the Charity on 01372 735 262.

For more information about Theo the Magician please visit: www.magictheo.com.

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In memory of a much-loved mum – family raise £5,000 for St Helier ICU !

The family of a much-loved mum and grandmother who sadly passed away with Covid-19 in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at St Helier Hospital have raised more than £5,000 for the department.

Despite the very best efforts of staff in the hospital, Kailas Patel passed away on Wednesday 10 February, aged 66. Despite their grief during this difficult time, Kailas’ family are incredibly grateful for all the care and support that both she and they received from the ICU teams who tried so hard to save her. So to say thank you to staff and to honour the memory of Kailas, her three children Kinjal, Binti and Anish, decided to set up a fundraising page for St Helier ICU.  

Kinjal said: “While mum was in Intensive Care, we would phone multiple times a day and sometimes late at night to speak to her, or get an update. Without fail, the nurses were always so kind, compassionate and patient. We were able to hold our mother as she took her final breaths and for that we will be eternally grateful. The money we raise will go towards providing critical care to all those who need it especially during these difficult times. The staff were really human about it.  We can’t thank them enough.” 

And in just a matter of days, the page has already raised over £5,000.

Kinjal added: “It just goes to show how special my mother was and how much she meant to so many people, even though I don’t think she realised it.  She was a phenomenal and renowned Gujarati home-cook. People travelled from near and far for her cooking and she was regularly asked to help out with catering at weddings. She was always smiling, so welcoming and easy going.”

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles said: “On behalf of the Trust, I would like to pass our heartfelt condolences to Kailas’ family and loved ones. It is remarkable that, in a time of profound grief, Kailas’ children have found the strength to fundraise for the department where their mum was cared for. I would like to say a huge thank you to the whole family, and to everyone who has donated so far. It is incredibly generous.”

Dr Viplaw Shukla, Consultant Intensivist, said:  “We are immensely grateful for the generosity of Kailas Patel’s family and friends. Of course, like them, we very much wish Kailas was still with us. However, their fundraising is a wonderful testament to the ICU teams and for the care and commitment they provide for their patients. Kailas was a strong woman only in her sixties, and yet Covid was still able to take her despite our best efforts. Therefore, we absolutely implore everyone take up the vaccine as soon as it’s offered, especially among BAME communities.

If you would like to make a contribution to Kailas Patel’s family’s fundraising for St Helier ICU, please visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/anish-patel-1

Alternatively you can still donate to the Charity’s general Covid appeal which is: www.justgiving.com/campaign/ThankYouESTH

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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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Pods provide peace and quiet for Epsom and St Helier staff

Hardworking staff at Epsom and St Helier can now make the most of their breaks or find a moment of relaxation after a busy shift, thanks to a generous loan of two sleep pods.

The two space-age looking pods are designed specifically for twenty-minute power naps, and come complete with a hooded privacy visor and the option to play pre-programmed music or a relaxation guide. This means valued NHS staff are able to rejuvenate their minds and body in the break of a busy shift, or before heading home after clocking off for the day.

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles said: “Team ESTH always work hard to provide the best care to our patients, but the effort and determination they have shown through COVID-19 has been phenomenal. If anyone deserves to put their feet up for 20 minutes and make the most of a lunch break, it’s our staff!

“Evidence shows that for most people, a short 15 to 20-minute nap can help to reduce the impact of tiredness on people’s ability to function and can improve performance. But more importantly than that, being able to take a moment to relax and recuperate will be a real boost for the health and wellbeing of our staff, which in turn, has a positive effect on patient care and experience”.

Dr Shakil Rahman, Lead Respiratory Consultant at the Trust, has been at the very forefront of the Trust’s response to COVID-19, leading the team who cared for some of the sickest COVID-19 patients. He said: ‘I’ve tried the sleep pod and I can’t believe – even for a poor sleeper like me – how refreshed I feel. I will definitely be using it again and encouraging everyone to try some power naps, especially the junior doctors who work and study incredibly hard. I’ve been so proud of how the respiratory team and all my ESTH colleagues have faced the immense challenges of this pandemic, and I truly think their health and wellbeing has never been so important.”

The sleep pods have kindly been loaned to Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity by the company Restworks for a free two-month trial but – if the feedback from staff continues to be positive the charity could look to purchase them on a long-term basis. The Charity always welcome support from local people and businesses – if you would like to make a donation to this or any other project, please contact the team by email at team@esthcharity.org.uk or call 01372 735262.

For more information about Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity (registered charity number 1049197) visit www.esthcharity.org.uk.

For more information on Restworks, please visit: www.rest.works.

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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.