Father Christmas at St George’s

We had a great day handing out presents at St George’s helped by the wonderful play specialists. The photos are on facebook here and also here where parents can download hi-res versions using the username guest and the password Christmas. Thank you very much for the very talented photographer Hugh Miller who gave up his time and skills in order to help us out.

Santa 2014I received a nice e-mail after one of our Santa visits which i thought it would be good to share, I have changed the names to maintain anonymity.

I just wanted to say “thank-you” on behalf of my son Jack, who received a lovely teddy. It really cheered him up, as did the visit from father xmas and his little helper: his eyes lit up when he saw them (I think he was thinking “oh no, the door’s opening, someone in a uniform is coming to do something nasty to me”) and was lovely for his dad and mum to see. As you can appreciate, being in an isolation room at xmas is pretty grim for a kid. Jack has been poorly all his life and is a “regular” at St George’s, despite living 60 miles away in West Sussex. The distance makes it particularly difficult as his brother, Henry, who he is very close to, has to stay at his Grandma’s during his many stays at St George’s, so we are all split up as a family. Luckily, we were put on “home leave” for xmas but must return next Friday.

I think your charity is brilliant. As soon as I read the poster in the posh new parents room I could tell that the person who wrote it had a real insight into life for kids and their families in this situation that only personal experience (unfortunately) can bring.

Merry xmas to you all and keep up the good work!

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New delivery to St Georges

A couple of weeks ago I did a quick delivery to St George’s Hospital! The Red Rocket was packed full of goodies and ready to go, I delivered…

2 kids electric ride on cars – Going to operations in a little electric car is far more fun and maybe less scary than on a wheelchair.

16 Night lights – little things are sometimes important

3 plug in electric portable heaters – bizarre but well needed

3 mini iPads – for the play specialist to carry around as a tool to help distract children when needed.

11 Whiteboards – for the kids’ rooms

The Rocket - full of goodies

The Rocket – full of goodies

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Christian’s Christmas carol sung by The Cantus Ensemble at Sevenoaks School

Christian loves to play the piano and write his own music, this year he entered a competition run by Sevenoaks School to write a Christmas Carol for a 5 part choir. The winners and runners up in each age group got their song sung by the incredible London based Cantus Ensemble at the Christmas Carol concert in the school .

We are very proud that Christian’s lovely song got awarded 2nd place in the year 7 and 8 competition. It is called The Snow and all the words, piano music and vocals were written by him.

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Claudia’s Christmas Market

On November 20th Claudia opened the house to about 80 friends who came along to support The Christian Blandford Fund, and do a spot of Christmas shopping.

Coco Cuscino brought along beautiful bespoke cushions, soft furnishings and gifts,  Anahita displayed luscious smelling homemade beauty products and Phoenix had a table overflowing with gift wrap, cards, note books and much more.  Upstairs Ben & Lucy from The Square Salon were busy with manicures and hairstyles, Miss Captain and Little Captain had rails full of fashionable clothing for ladies and children, Ochre had some gorgeous cashmere, silk and wool tops, pashmina’s and scarves whilst Stella & Dot brought a bit of sparkle to the event with some stunning jewellery.  Cakes and nibbles were courtesy of Sara Hester from Tandem Catering and Top Table provided us with tea pots, cafetieres, milk jugs, cups, glasses, teaspoons and much more.

We raised a massive £2410 and more money is still coming in online.  Thank you to everyone who supported this event.

Many people bought raffle tickets that helped towards the final total. We thought Christian should pick the lucky winners…

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Food Glorious Food

We strongly feel that our goal is to improve the life of children staying in hospitals. Sometimes that means spending money on buying things that make life better, but sometimes it involves putting pressure (gentle or otherwise) on authorities to make changes that we feel are important. All of the trustees in The Christian Blandford Fund, Peter, Claudia, Amy and Darren, have had children who have spent considerable time in NHS hospitals and have strong views of how to help others in that situation. One of our big concerns was the quality of the food in the wards at St George’s. At the Royal Marsden there was a wonderful chef and an assistant who took individual orders from each of the kids and made it freshly for them. At St George’s there was a trolley with pre cooked and reheated food similar to what you would get in an airplane, unsurprisingly much of the food was left untouched by the kids.

For some reason this has been a battle that has taken a long time to win, but we are delighted to have finally made some progress. Together with Samuel’s Charity we were ready to pay for the cost of having a couple of hostesses to take the children’s orders, so the food could be prepared in the kitchens. The hospital, fortunately, managed to find the funds from elsewhere and the quality of the food is now considerably improved. We are delighted, well done to Martin, Samuel’s dad, who did so much to push this forward.

There are big plans afoot to make improvements at St George’s and we hope that our voice continues to be heard so the things that we feel need to be improved upon are prioritised.

Food

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PS Vitas for the wards

We have just bought some of these great PS Vitas with some cool games for the children on the wards at St George’s. Time moves slowly when you’re in bed all day in hospital, hopefully these will add a bit of fun!

2487022-0287241418-23768

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Momentum Meeting

Claudia, Darren and Amy are meeting with the lovely people at Momentum today. They have done some great work at Kingston Hospital and we are hoping to work with them on improvements to St George’s.

I have been playing some more with the website. I have now gone right through the Christian’s Story Page and made every day an individual entry on the blog, rather than a long page.

This means that I can now filter out all the fund raising posts, which I have linked to in the menu or all the posts about Christian, which is what the new Christian’s Story menu link now points to.

It  now makes it possible to link to any individual story or fund raising event and share it on Facebook or Twitter.

I think it’s time I stopped fiddling now.

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More edits to Christian’s Story

I have had a bit of time to work on the Christian’s Story Page and added a new event which I omitted the first time around….

28th September 2007

Last week Christian had a bone scan and a CT scan and the results came back today, he is clear of cancer!

We’ve got a long way to go and he is still in danger from the treatment, his kidney function, for example, is still not what it should be, but we are obviously very relieved.

There was a strange moment in the school car park when he started back at school. A whisper went around the crowds of parents and teachers when they saw Christian, and as he stood there looking confused, a round of applause went up from everybody around him.

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Updated Christian’s Story page

I received an email yesterday from a lady whose 4 year old son has just had a relapse from a Wilm’s Tumour, a very similar situation we were in a few years ago. She told me that Christian’s story has given her a glimmer of hope during a terrible and frightening time. The fact that it has helped at least one person has given me the inspiration to go through Christian’s Story  page and get rid of dead links and break the text up with some pictures.

The fact is, children do recover from relapsed cancer, and Christian is living proof, we sincerely wish the best for Karen and her family.

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Quick visit to Great Ormond Street

Claudia is with Christian at Great Ormond Street Hospital today for a biennial check up on his kidney. It’s a good reminder of how lucky we are.

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