The aim of the Christian Blandford fund is to improve the comfort of children and their families, particularly those affected by cancer, during prolonged stays in local NHS hospitals.
Usually treatment is given under a ‘joint care’ program where specialist hospitals provide the main treatment and local hospitals provide emergency care. For example, Christian received all his radiotherapy and chemo at the Royal Marsden, but when he spiked a temperature while neutrapenic (no immune system), we would drive him to St George’s Hospital in Tooting for emergency treatment. Christian also had his kidney tumour removed at St George’s and recovered in their excellent Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Despite the high levels of care, the standards of comfort and equipment at St George’s were far inferior to those at the Royal Marsden. This is because the high profile, specialist hospitals tend to attract more funds from government and charity. The curtains in the Pinkney ward where Christian was treated were so thin all the kids would wake up at the crack of dawn in the summer and the parents slept on old, lumpy sofa beds. This is why we decided to concentrate our fundraising efforts on the NHS hospitals.
This is how the lovely people at Post Pals described us
“they realised a lot of people support the main children’s or cancer hospitals yet the local hospitals which children spend a lot of time in with infections or for transfusions rarely get support. They decided instead of fundraising for huge items they instead would do the little things others don’t think of, like buying decent curtains for the children’s ward so the kids no longer wake up at sunrise in the summer – a truly wonderful charity working away quietly at improving families quality of life.”
The main beneficiary of the fund has been St George’s hospital, so far we have provided:
• Accuvein scanners that make inserting cannulas much less traumatic and painful
• Wall mounted flat screen TVs and DVD players in the Pinkney Ward
• Laptops for patients and parents to use
• A new parents’ lounge in the Pinkney Ward.
• Black-out blinds in all the rooms in the Pinkney Ward. Raising money for these is why originally started the charity.
• A new nurses’ workstation making their life much easier.
• A number of hand held computer games, games consoles and games for use by Pinckney patients
• New sofa beds for parental use
• Magnetic white boards and laminated posters will be provided to allow children to customise their rooms with their own familiar decor
• A portable ultrasound machine to allow patients to be scanned on the ward, making canulars much less painful to insert. An expensive but, we felt, worthy investment.
• Magazines for the dayroom which are delivered monthly to ensure a constant supply of fresh reading matter for quiet times
• An Information Pack which offers new parents and patients on the wards easy access to all they need to know
• A visit from Father Christmas,who brought presents for all the children.
• A significant contribution towards the new children’s garden which will provide a much needed sanctuary for patients, their siblings and their parents.
Please consider the Christian Blandford Fund if you are fund raising for a sponsored event or looking to make a charitable donation