During the past few months, and working in partnership with local hospitals, respite centres and specialist services, we’ve funded a range of great projects which focus on improving children’s physical and emotional well-being, while providing additional support services for parents and carers.
Here is some more about some of the projects in Sussex that we’ve recently funded
Blood pressure machine for Princess Royal Hospital
Since the start of the pandemic, babies that would normally be seen on the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) are now attending their appointments on the post-natal ward at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH).
This means that there are more children being seen in the same area so this new blood pressure machine will help the babies be treated more quickly and not have to wait for other equipment to become available.
New sensory garden at the Alex
At Rockinghorse we understand the how important mental health and well-being is to children being treated in the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.
Which is why we are fundraising for is a new sensory garden at the Alex. The current garden is in need of updating so it’s more accessible, safe and fun.
The new garden will be a relaxing, safe space for patients being treated, helping them forget about being in hospital. It will also be a space offering parents a welcome break from the hospital ward.
Sensory room at Seaside View
Seaside View Child Development Centre in Brighton supports children with additional development needs such as autism and genetic disorders.
We are funding a new sensory room to provide a calm, therapeutic space for the pupils, equipped with a wide range of specialist sensory equipment such accessible swings, jumping mats and a mobile interactive floor projector.
Often children with autism become easily over-whelmed within busy environments or situations and having a space like this will really help them return to learning and interacting with other people and respond more positively to their normal environment.
It will also help staff at Seaside View more accurately assess how students process sensory information and how best to support them.
Going into surgery can be a really scary experience for an adult, let alone a child, so any way to help make this a nicer experience is really worthwhile.
So, we are funding some new child-friendly warm up jackets for the theatre staff which will not only keep the staff warm but will help improve the patient’s experience by making the staff look more friendly and less frightening.
These jackets will be made by a volunteer using colourful, fun material and will each have the Rockinghorse logo embroidered onto them. And every year around 6,500 children come through the theatres at the Alex which means lots and lots of them will benefit from seeing these colourful outfits.
Riding therapy at Chailey Heritage
We are continuing to fund the therapeutic horse-riding service for children with complex needs at Chailey Heritage Foundation.
This fantastic therapy has become a fundamental part of the curriculum at the Foundation as it uses the movement of the horse as physiotherapy, helping to strengthen core muscles and improve head control.
As pupils spend most of their time in wheelchairs and have very limited mobility, the riding sessions provide a unique opportunity to exercise out of their chair and use a range of muscles that they don’t usually use.
Never has it been more important to provide this service for the young people so that they can spend time outdoors. Not only does it help their physical wellbeing, but it also offers a great opportunity for children to learn, have fun and progress their motor skills. And for pupils with dual sensory impairments, the touch, feel and smell of the horse is also a wonderful sensory experience.
All of this is why we are so proud to be continuing our support of this service this year.
The Mind Clinic
We’re the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) and a vital supporter of the neighbouring Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) in Brighton, funding equipment and services over and above what the NHS is able to fund.
Since February 2017, we’ve been funding a service called the ‘Mind Clinic’, a dedicated service to benefit staff at the Alex. The Mind Clinic provides counselling services and pastoral care that staff can access in work time or when they are off duty.
The purpose of the clinic is to provide a non-performance related counselling service that is freely available to approximately 149 doctors, nurses and non-clinical staff who work at the frontline of the NHS.
We’re continuing to fund The Mind Clinic, pledging to support the service throughout 2020 into 2021. Thanks to our funding, free confidential counselling sessions are available to staff at the Alex during works hours and on days off.
Some of the feedback that’s been received during the 2019 Mind Clinic’s, include; “I think the Mind Clinic has been really valuable to us nurses, especially when we deal with physically and mentally demanding challenges on a daily basis. We often forget about our own wellbeing in the process, so the Mind Clinic gives us the opportunity to take time to do this.”
Simon Parke from the Mind Clinic, says, “The funding from Rockinghorse has enabled us to offer 72 one-to-one sessions with staff at the Alex. We provide a safe and insightful place in which hospital staff can work through issues that are arising and we’ve had such positive feedback.”