Latest project giveaway at the Alex

Staff from local children’s hospitals were invited to pitch their ideas for funding to staff...

Staff from local children’s hospitals were invited to pitch their ideas for funding to staff and trustees from Rockinghorse.

Here at Rockinghorse we regularly look for projects, equipment and services to fund which will help make the lives of sick children and young people happier and more comfortable. This could be big pieces of expensive medical equipment like ventilators, or smaller things like books and toys to help the time in hospital pass more quickly.

Whilst the larger items are important, often items for less than £5,000 can have an equally big impact. Which is why we put the call out to our Champions, staff who work across the Alex, Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) and children’s healthcare settings throughout the county, to find out what equipment under £5,000 would make their lives, and those of their patients, better.

Once we had received the application forms, we arranged a meeting at the hospital where the applicants could come and pitch their ideas to a panel of staff and Trustees.

The session took place earlier this month and it was a great way to really understand how the support that your donations provide can make such a difference.

All together we were presented with 12 different requests which included, amongst others, massage sessions for young people going through cancer treatment, a portable bladder scanner to help children with urinary conditions, an interactive floor projector for the children’s A&E in Eastbourne and the refurbishment of two teenage rooms in Worthing and Chichester hospitals.

Sarah Phillips, Projects and Operations Manager at Rockinghorse, said: “It’s always so inspiring to meet with staff who are directly impacted by the support we are able to provide. Their sole aim is to help make treatment for children easier and less painful, ultimately leading to better outcomes for the children and young people along with their parents.

“It’s also great to speak directly to the staff about these projects, as opposed to reading them on a form. It helps us get a really good understanding of how the project will help along with seeing how passionate they are about making children’s experiences of hospital as good as possible.”

The meeting was also a good opportunity to learn about some of the ways that children and young people are supported through their treatment with non-medical support.

One of the projects submitted was some group psychological support for children and young people with cancer including workshops to develop coping skills, mindfulness and beads of life workshops. All of these are aimed at providing a supportive environment for the participants to explore their feelings about their diagnosis before they reach crisis point.

We also agreed to fund an update of some amazing booklets that help children understand what to expect during a visit to hospital. The Monkey Wellbeing Booklets, including ‘Monkey has an operation’ and ‘Monkey has a blood test’ explain in a fantastic visual way what will happen when certain procedures are carried out.

The booklets aim to reduce anxiety and worry and act as a great way for parents, children and health professionals to communicate.

After a long day the staff and Trustees were overwhelmed with the amazing work being done every day at the hospital. Sarah said: “We are all so proud to work for an organisation that raises money for such important things. Now all we need to do is get back to work raising the funds to pay for these projects!”

To find out ore about the projects we fund, take a look at our ‘Currently Funding’ page here.