Working in partnership with local hospitals, respite centres and specialist services, we fund projects which focus on improving children’s physical and emotional well-being, while providing additional support services for parents and carers.
Here you can find out a little bit more about some of the projects in Sussex that we’ve recently funded…
Bilirubin monitors for the Community Midwife Team
Your support at Christmas has enabled us to successfully fund our appeal for the Community Midwife Team in Sussex. We pledged to fund bilirubin monitors for the team of 75 community midwives who look after over 6,000 mums and babies every year throughout their pregnancy, during home visits and appointments at GP surgeries and paediatric centres.
One of the most serious conditions that the community midwives look out for in newborns is jaundice and if left untreated, can cause long-term damage to a baby. We’ve funded bilirubin monitors so that midwives can detect jaundice during home visits, without the need of new mum’s having to go back into their local hospital for what is a simple, non-invasive and accurate test.
By equipping community midwives in Sussex with transcutaneous bilirubin meters to carry out monitoring as part of their post-natal care, only babies tested positive for jaundice would be sent to hospital for further tests and treatment.
Veinsites for the Alex
As the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton, we raise money for life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment as well as providing funding for therapies and services. As part of our ongoing commitment to the Alex, we’ve funded pieces of equipment called Veinsites. The equipment will benefit the dedicated Children’s Emergency Department, Medical Ward, High Dependency Unit, Day Case and Phlebotomy Service.
This specialist piece of equipment has enabled staff to carry out difficult cannulations in young patients with less stress and discomfort for the child. By using the Veinsite, there has been a reduction in attempts for a cannula to be successfully inserted as the equipment makes the veins clearer for the practitioner.
Ventilators for the Alex
Earlier this year, we launched an appeal to provide additional ventilation equipment for the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton. We’re aiming to fund at least four more ventilators for the High Dependency Unit (HDU) at the Alex to help treat the hospital’s most poorly patients.
The ventilators are used to treat over 130 children and babies each year – most of these patients being under three years of age and facing a prolonged stay in hospital. In addition to this, disabled children often require respiratory support during their multiple admissions, and several long-term patients require constant ventilation on the ward, so the additional ventilators are needed as soon as possible.
Toys and activities for Bluefin Ward
Bluefin Ward in Worthing Hospital is dedicated to the care of the hospital’s babies, children and young people. We’re supporting Bluefin’s play team by providing funding for toys, games and activities to benefit young patients admitted to the ward. Their play and teenage rooms provide a much-needed distraction to patients and siblings as well as providing a nice environment for families to interact and relax in, away from the main ward and hospital beds.
The funding will enable play team staff to provide toys, craft materials, activity and reading books, DVD’s, iTunes vouchers and many more items to help distract young patients spending time in Bluefin. Providing items like this helps to create a more positive experience for the hospital’s younger patients and can also help them recover quicker.
Diabetes transmitters for the Alex
The Children and Young Person’s Diabetes Team at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton cares for and supports over 200 patients with type 1 diabetes in the surrounding areas. Two years ago, we funded five Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems for the diabetes team that are loaned out to parents of children who are struggling to manage their blood glucose levels.
The devices have proved successful in encouraging and promoting better control of a child’s diabetes and provide support in times of stress. In order for the glucose monitoring systems to continue to function, we are funding the replacement of transmitters for the systems (which have a 12-18 months battery life) as well as plugs and chargers.
Hillside School Drivedeck
Hillside School in Portslade is a 78-pupil community special school which caters for young people from 4-16 years of age. Pupils range from having profound and multiple learning disabilities to severe or moderate learning disabilities. Specially trained staff at the school work alongside health and social care colleagues to maximise the potential of all their pupils and to provide the best for all learners.
We’ve recently funded a Smile Smart Drivedeck to benefit wheelchair users at the school. Replacing their previous 20-year-old platform wheelchair base, the new powered platform base enables children to convert their specialist static seating into a powered wheelchair. The Drivedeck enables children to sit in their individual seating system and access powered wheelchair mobility using either a hand or head switch or a joystick.
Access to this piece of equipment means that pupils can enjoy increased participation in P.E. and physical activities at the school. The Drivedeck system includes a track which can be used inside and outside so that wheelchair bound pupils can also access the playground during playtime.
Resuscitaires for the TMBU
We’ve purchased a resuscitaire to enable training of resuscitations skills at birth to benefit the neonatal service at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) and Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) in Brighton. The Panda Resuscitaire is essential for teaching the skills required to resuscitate an infant at birth. It is a complex system and mirrors those that would be used in clinical practice.
The training resuscitaire is used for day-to-day in situ simulation and is also used in the two national newborn resuscitation courses run by the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust (BSUH). The resuscitaire allows trained staff to teach essential resuscitation skills to doctors, nurses, midwives and advanced nurse practitioners both in situ on the ward and on nationally recognised resuscitation courses.
The need for resuscitation at birth is unpredictable and it is essential that any member of the TMBU and RSCH neonatal service needs to be able to promptly and effectively resuscitate newborns when the need arises, therefore reducing risk to any newborn infant who needs resuscitation.
TMBU X-ray appeal
At Christmas, we launched a £100,000 appeal to provide the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) in Brighton with an X-ray Imaging Machine. Thanks to your incredible support, we’ve been able to raise the funds needed to purchase the specialist equipment which will be on site in the Autumn.
The machine will provide neonatal staff with an instant X-ray image, allowing immediate modification of lines and tubes on a premature baby. The equipment will significantly improve the overall experience of a preterm infant, who typically requires multiple X-rays to be taken during their admission. The new digital imaging system will completely revolutionise the way in which staff at the TMBU can treat their tiny patients.
Toys for Seaside View
Seaside View Child Development Centre is located within Brighton General Hospital. The centre assesses, diagnoses and supports over 100 children, babies and young people a week from birth to 19 years of age with additional needs by providing support, training and advice for parents.
We’ve funded brand new toys for their four clinic rooms and reception area to support the nursery team and paediatricians, replacing their previous old and shabby ones. Having access to these toys provides a good distraction if a child is feeling anxious or worried ahead of, or during their appointment.
Whoopsadaisy is a small, Brighton-based charity helping children with physical disabilities live life as independently as possible. They provide weekly under-5’s groups, Saturday sessions and holiday clubs for 5 to 12-year-olds. We’ve recently funded two new pieces of specialist equipment to help the children at Whoopsadaisy become more independent.
Most of the children who attend their groups and sessions have cerebral palsy, which affects their posture, co-ordination, balance and mobility. The new rollator and conductive education plinth purchased with our funding, will improve a child’s experience and develop their progress, benefiting around 40 children who access the services at Whoopsadaisy.
A rollator is a walking aid for children who are able to bear weight on their legs and hold on with their hands. The equipment allows staff to help the child to take steps, walk with more freedom and become more independent. The plinth is a specialist slatted table which enables the children to hold on safely and encourages them to open their hands as they hold on, and staff can attach equipment such as mirrors and grasp bars to encourage standing and seated positions.
Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project 2018
Every year, we support a very special project for parents staying at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) and Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) with a poorly child or baby at Christmas. Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project was set up by parents Lucy and Simon Pond four years ago, in memory if their little boy Aidan.
Together, we provide festive hampers and arrange for Christmas dinner to be cooked for families in both hospitals. Thanks to your support, the project was able to provide 55 festive hampers for parents at the Alex and TMBU on Christmas Day in 2018 and supported by a wonderful team of volunteers and Ronald McDonald House, Christmas dinners were also provided.
An incredible £14,000 has been raised for Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project in the last four years, providing 2015 festive hampers for families at Christmas. We’re now aiming to fund the hampers again this year. To make a donation, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aidanschristmasdinner2019.
Beads of Life project
As the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton, we raise money for life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment as well as providing funding for therapies and services. As part of our ongoing commitment to the Alex, we’ve funded a project dubbed Beads of Life for the team of Play Specialists.
This unique project will enable the play team to keep track of a long-term patient’s hospital journey. The idea is that each bead will relate to a different hospital procedure, for example, a red bead will mean that a young patient has had a blood test. These beads will be made into a bracelet and will give both the patient and their family, a visual representation of their hospital journey.
Through the Beads of Life project, the child and their family can take control of what can be a tough and difficult situation – receiving a special bead for each procedure and milestone during their time at the Alex. It will also offer the opportunity to reflect on their journey and the emotional process they may have been through as well as helping to explain their hospital visits and admissions to friends and other family members.
Support for parents of children with Cystic Fibrosis
As the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton, we raise money for life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment as well as providing funding for therapies and services. As part of our ongoing commitment to the Alex, we’ve funded a mindfulness course for parents of children with Cystic Fibrosis.
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic, chronic and life-limiting condition which requires ongoing daily management (intensive physiotherapy, medications and dietary requirements), regular hospitalisations and routine clinic visits. Young people with Cystic Fibrosis and their parents can often be at an increased risk of compromised well-being and mental health difficulties.
The Paediatric Psychosocial Support Service (PPSS) provides psychological care for children and young people at the Alex. This is a multi-disciplinary team of health care professionals who provide treatment and care for children and young people with Cystic Fibrosis in East Sussex. Through this service, we’re funding a parent forum to teach mindfulness skills to parents of young patients with Cystic Fibrosis to help them manage and cope with stressful and difficult situations.
Drove Road activities programme
Drove Road is a respite and residential service located in Portslade. The centre cares for young people aged 8-18 years old with autism, learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. Through the services provided by Drove Road, young people are encouraged to explore social and leisure opportunities and build upon independent living skills.
We’re funding an activities programme for young people, to help promote their involvement in the local community and build positive relationships within their peer group and members of the public. The project will encourage young people at Drove Road to enjoy new experiences, create new friendships and support both their physical well-being and mental health by participating in activities they wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to access.