Rockinghorse lights up the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital

The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital was the setting for a magical light display last night,...

The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital was the setting for a magical light display last night, with local businesses, supporters and the community coming together to wish sick children a Merry Christmas.

In the run up to Christmas, we have been running our ‘Be a Rockinghorse Star’ campaign again which is raising funds to make sure that no child visiting or staying in hospital this Christmas misses out on the festive fun. Last night, we created a magical light projection on the side of the children’s hospital to wish all the children and their families and very Merry Christmas and to thank the staff who are working this Christmas.

Spending time in hospital over Christmas isn’t fun for anyone, but it’s even worse for children – not knowing if Father Christmas will know where to find them, not being able to enjoy Christmas at home with their family, not to mention being scared and worried about their treatment.

Donna Holland, CEO of Rockinghorse Children’s Charity explains why support is so vital: “Christmas is an especially busy time for the charity. This month we will support the families who already know they are going to be in hospital at Christmas. They’ve just got a diagnosis, or their child is already sick. They know that Christmas day will be spent on a ward, in a treatment room or having surgery.

We also support the families who don’t know they are going to be in hospital yet. Right now, they are planning for Christmas as normal, but sometime in the next few weeks something will happen that will completely change their plans. A cough that doesn’t go away, a temperate that keeps on rising or an accident waiting to happen.

At Rockinghorse, we support all children and their families. We do anything we can to help them feel more at home in hospital this Christmas.”

Every year Rockinghorse bring Christmas to children in hospital, delivering advent calendars and gifts to children in hospital, putting on Christmas parties and festive activities, bringing Santa, reindeer, donkeys and dogs to the hospitals, as well as delivering Christmas meals and hampers to families on Christmas day.

Naomi Austin was there to ‘switch on’ the display, with her partner Simon and children Carey and Aubrey. Naomi and Carey were the focus of the charities ‘One Day at a Time’ campaign earlier this year, raising funds for a specialist Oncology Psychologist at the hospital to help families managing a cancer diagnosis.

The family spent time in the hospital, including at Christmas, and know the difference the support provided by Rockinghorse makes. Naomi said, “Spending time in hospital with a sick child is never easy, especially over the Christmas period, but having all the toys and activities that Rockinghorse provide makes such a massive difference to how a child, and their parents, feel about their situation.”

See Aubrey, Carey, Naomi and Simon light up the Royal Alex!

Helping make Christmas happen.

A range of local Sussex businesses have generously supported our ‘Be a Rockinghorse Star’ campaign including Repair and Assure, Hankinson Whittle, CEF, Barrington James, RDS, Stephen Johnson Photography, Paige Collins, Golden Lion Group, Trident, European International Fairs Ltd, Squires Garden Centres, ITDS, Peabody’s, Mascol’s and Platinum Media Group.

Jermaine Weeden and Steph Prior from ITDS, who sponsored one of the stars in the display, said, “We were so glad to be involved in the Rockinghorse Star Campaign this Christmas, it is our way of giving back to the local community and ensuring that children and their families that are in Hospital during this time receive the support from the Charity and Christmas is that little bit better for them.”

Thanks to all our star sponsors and every single person who has donated or supported us this Christmas. It means that no child will spend time in hospital and miss out on the Christmas spirit.

Find out more about how you can support Rockinghorse this Christmas here.