Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project – another successful year.

Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project provided families spending Christmas in hospital with their children a great festive feast.

The project was set up seven years ago by parents Lucy and Simon Pond in memory of their little boy Aidan. In partnership with Rockinghorse, they raise funds to gift families spending the festive season in the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton with hampers. This year they were able to raise over £4,000 in the run up to Christmas.

The project has continued to be incredibly successful with hampers now being gifted to families in the neighbouring Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU), the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at the Princess Royal Hospital and Chalkhill Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit in Haywards Heath and Bluefin Ward at Worthing Hospital.

Hampers delivered to the Alex

The hampers are donated to families on Christmas Eve and contain treats for parents including tea, coffee, a cafetiere and a range of delicious homemade Christmas goodies such as brownies and clementine mince pies. These hampers were put together in partnership with Caroline Davenport from Davenports Catering, who has supported the project from the beginning.

In addition, a team of four volunteers went along to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital on Christmas Day to provide a delicious cold buffet for parents with children staying in the hospital and in the Trevor Mann Baby Unit over Christmas.

An amazing 90 hampers were donated this Christmas.

In the run up to Christmas, Lucy spent time getting the hampers ready to deliver to families on Christmas Eve. She was joined by ten volunteers who gathered to fill, wrap and pack the gifts.

A thank you from Bluefin Ward in Worthing

In total, 90 hampers were delivered and distributed to families at the Alex, TMBU, SCBU, Chalkhill and Worthing Hospital. Lucy arrived at the hospitals in style, thanks to a branded van courtesy of Hugh (Caroline’s husband) from Dragon Signs.

Lucy said, “It’s been another difficult year, but we’re so pleased to have been able to deliver so many hampers to families spending time in hospital this Christmas.

“Having spent time in hospital with Aidan at this time of year ourselves, we understand how difficult it can be. And while these hampers won’t be the same as being able to be at home, we hope having a few comforts can help them get through a really difficult time.

“Thanks so much to Caroline at Davenports Catering for all her support and to Ronald MacDonald House who let us use their kitchen space to store the food for the buffet on Christmas Day.”

And the donations really made an impact on the recipients with one parent at the Royal Alex commenting: The hamper I received was a lovely, unexpected gift given to me just after my daughter has been taken to theatre, really kind, thoughtful and generous.”

Another parent added: “The Christmas cracker was enjoyed by my daughter with our delayed Christmas celebrations once she was home and the felt tree decoration will go onto our tree every year!”

For more information about the Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project or to donate, click here.

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