This year, we made the extra effort to give families some quality time over Christmas by funding a Christmas party for children at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Birmingham Children's Hospital. On Tuesday 18th December, staff from both hospitals and CLIC Sargent worked hard to host the special party for children undergoing treatment and their families.
The afternoon was spent playing party games and enjoying a festive feast which included freshly baked mini cupcakes which were donated by Jenny Rudd from Birmingham. Toys and other gifts were given out to the children, including a selection donated by The Hope Hotel in Southend and from Debbie Francis from Sullivan and Cromwell. The Disney Store in Romford donated cuddly Disney characters such a Rapunzel, Nemo, Kermit, Belle, Ariel and Special Agent OSO, which were also given to the children along with selection boxes donated by Emily at the Character Group, Gill Bromley, Sally and Julie Bloe, Laura Hostler and staff at Centralised Legal Aid, Land Commercial, Olga Primary School and Stephanie.
Over half of children with cancer in Worcestershire are diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the most common type of cancer for children. Treatment for this type of cancer can take two to three years, which impacts significantly on their childhood and family life. Christmas is a time for families to get together and celebrate. But for families with children affected by cancer, things are not so easy and it can feel like life has been turned upside down.
Fran Thompson, Lead Nurse for Children and Young People with cancer said: “Any amount of family time is so important, I’m grateful that we are able to help give these families some quality time and a bit of fun and relief over Christmas. We are so thankful to the charities who have helped us organise and fund the event, they even donated enough money for next year’s Christmas party!”
One of the children attending the party, Jamie Whittenbury, age 8, was very excited to come along to hospital and spend the afternoon with other children and the staff who have treated him over the past few years. Jamie’s mother, Jane said: “Days like this put everything back to normality. It gives kids the chance to be kids, worry free and happy. Jamie is always very excited to come into hospital, mainly due to the fantastic staff. It’s like being part of a big extended family; I don’t know how we would’ve coped without the staff being so supportive. The families often meet up as well, it’s such a great support network we’ve got in Worcestershire."