Category Archives: Things We’ve Done

Merry Christmas from the Christian Blandford Fund

This year's Father Christmas visit had to be virtual, with some somewhat unexpected results! We hope you enjoy this short video

It was all worth it when we received this lovely message the following day 

I'm just writing to say a heartfelt thank you.  My son has been in and out of St George's since the end of November and I've just picked him up for home leave for Christmas.  He was genuinely so thrilled to get his present from you this morning, and I was so touched as his Mum too.
 
Thank you so much and wishing you the merriest of Christmases.
 
 
We are very happy that this December we have been able to help out Poole Hospital who, as well as standard requests such as new beds for visiting parents, had an unusual request...
 
 
We would love ceramic mugs with lids for parents to use for hot drinks.   We struggle to buy them as they are not seen as essential but help greatly in reducing spill risks and the possibility  of scalds. These needs  100 plus mugs,  This would be top of our list. I am currently trying to source theses for a cost but am struggling to find anything. I have been able to find bamboo mugs but these can transfer heat easily and not all are dishwasher safe.
 
 
Fortunately we found just the thing...


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Santa 2019!

We had another wonderful day at St George’s handing out presents to some lovely children who are unlucky enough to be spending this time of year in hospital. It was particularly good to borrow the toy Tesla car for Jessica the elf to drive around the wards as we handed out presents. This is one of many cars donated by The Tesla Owners Group, in partnership with the Christian Blandford Fund to hospitals throughout the country. The staff at St George’s were all wonderful, a special thanks to Justine and her amazing team of play specialists who helped to organise the presents and accompanied us on the rounds, smiling and happy even when one of them had a toe run over by a Tesla driving elf (sorry Genevieve!). You can see a small selection of the photos below but the rest you can see here Click here for the full collection of photographs - free downloads for families and friends of patients Thank you to the talented photographer, Samantha Connoly Boles, who gave up her time and abilities for free to take these photos. You can see more of her work here. A special thank you to our trustees Darren Bowler and Amy Hancox who wrapped all the presents ready for Santa and to Susannah Boughtflower from Susannah's People for the fabulous beard.
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Ella Gracie’s Garden Project

We were so pleased to be able to support The Royal Marsden by donating towards Ella Gracie’s Garden Project. This new garden for the children’s ward provides some much needed outside space for the kids and their families. The first picture shows the space as it was originally!

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Father Christmas at St George’s Hospital (and Pembury Hospital) 2018

Yesterday we had another amazing day handing out presents at St George's. Christian and Jessica were fantastic elves helping me as Santa. The CBF trustees, Darren and Amy did a great job of wrapping presents and Neil and the St George's play specialists were a great help on the rounds. As usual it was a day filled with both laughter and tears. We are reminded how lucky we are that Christian has made such a great recovery and we are touched that he has become a beacon of hope for many families who are going through an incredibly difficult time.

Thank you to Matt Binnie who provided his photographic skills and equipment for free. You can see a selection above, the rest are here where friends and families of the patients can get downloads for free. Click on the cloud to download individual photos.

For the first time we also handed out presents in a different hospital, our local NHS hospital in Kent, Pembury. As my sledge is having an MOT we had to bring in some external Santa help! Here is a message from Claudia

"The Pembury Father Christmas  trip would not have been possible without the generosity of Granville School staff, parents and pupils who generously bought and wrapped all the gifts.  We would also like to thank Dionne Lessner who gave up her time to help Claudia on the day, Susannah Boughtflower (from Susannah’s People and The Kids Entertainers Network) who found us the most brilliant Father Christmas and who waived her fee & Damien Warren Smith who was a fantastic Father Christmas and who charmed not only the children but their parents and the Dr’s and nurses and play specialists."

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One of the more unusual items we have purchased…

One of the benefits the Christian Blandford Fund has is that its small size makes it very efficient so we can approve purchases that meet our criteria very quickly. The wonderful play specialists at St George's had an interesting request, a mini MRI scanner. Children being treated often find MRI machines scary and, as they need to lie very still, their fear can not only be distressing for them but can lead to unusable images. This is how Justine, the play specialist put it... This piece of equipment would absolutely prove so invaluable in preparing children/young people for scans and it would also help to reduce the number of patients who go for the scan under a G.A through fear of the actual machine. Showing patients exactly what it looks like (rather than a photograph), how it works and the noise it makes can definitely help to reduce fears, anxieties and misconceptions which will enable fewer G.A’s, risks and waiting times for the patient/parent carer. This is such exciting news for us and we have waited so long for a revolutionary idea like this! I wondered if I could make a wish for the MAGNETOM from you, I completely appreciate that it is very expensive, but the value it would bring to Play In Hospital at St George’s would be second to none, state of the art and help to bring us up to modern day healthcare standards! Which I strive to achieve at all times. We were able to approve the cost of it quickly and I am happy to say that it is now being used on the ward at St Georges. This is from a recent e-mail from Justine.

Please see pictures below of our lovely Olivia with my Play Specialist Hayley, learning all about having an MRI scan using the Mini-Magnetom MRI scanner model, which the wonderful Christian Blandford Charity purchased for us to help to teach our patients about having a blood test. As you can see, Olivia really benefitted from the experience and had a wonderful time learning about having an MRI scan. Olivia is a patient on Pinckney ward and has recently had her head henna’d which she absolutely loves. 

Lovely Olivia with toy MRI machine Lovely Olivia with toy MRI machine We are delighted that the scanner is being used and is making a difference and we wish Olivia all our love and best wishes.
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Our collaboration with The Tesla Owners Group UK and Elon Musk!

Tesla owners donate mini Tesla's to hospitals It started off with one or two Tesla owners donating mini Teslas that they received from a referral scheme. Mark Goodier, you may remember, donated his for us to auction and raise funds for our charity. Other owners approached children's hospitals to see if they would like them, yet more owners pledged money to buy more. Will Fealey, the president of the Tesla Owners UK group had the bright idea of asking Elon Musk for support and Elon agreed to help! There are more details in this news story. The Christian Blandford Fund have offered to help in collecting the money, claiming the gift aid, and assisting in the administration as much as we can. It fits perfectly in our mandate, to help improve the lives of children and their families, particularly those affected by cancer, during prolonged stays in NHS hospitals. We have bought a couple of little electric cars for St George's in the past and thoroughly agree that going to an op in an Electric mini Tesla is much more fun (and less scary) than going in a wheel chair. We are also delighted that Will Fealey has joined our charity as a trustee and we look forward to helping Will and the generous Tesla owners who have donated help as many children as they can. You can read Will's post on the Tesla Owners UK site if you would like to recommend a hospital or hospice who would benefit from a Radio Flyer mini Tesla you can do so here. Amazon Smile Don't forget that we have joined Amazon Smile. If you use this link before you shop at Amazon, they will make a donation of 1.5% of your expenditure for no extra cost to you! Please click on this link to set The Christian Blandford Fund as your charity of choice. Thank you again! Amazon Smile
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Santa at St George’s 2017

I can't believe that this is the eighth year in a row that we have gone to St George's to hand out Christmas presents. As usual it was a fantastic day and I am always impressed with how high the spirits are amongst the parents and staff. Thank you very much to the wonderful play specialists for helping Santa with his bags and to Hugh Miller from Boy Meets Girl Photography for the fantastic photos. Amy and Darren did a great job of ordering and wrapping the presents and Henry and Christian were on hand to help Santa. Parents can download print quality versions of the photos here Merry Christmas!

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Artwork installed in York Hospital’s Children’s Ward

Most of the work we do has been for St George's Hospital in Tooting but we help in other places too. We just received this thank you from York Teaching Hospital...   Thanks to the Christian Blandford Fund the Arts Team at York Teaching Hospital has worked with staff on York Hospital’s Children’s ward to coordinate new art work for the bedrooms.  The Trust’s Estates Team freshened up the walls with a lick of paint and a bright new colour scheme, ready for the addition of child-friendly illustrations. We commissioned local illustrator Tanya McClelland to produce the artwork, working with patients, visitors and staff to choose the final designs.  We felt her playful illustrations were perfect for the project, with designs taking inspiration from parks and outdoor spaces across the city of York and the beaches of Yorkshires East Coast. We would like to thank the Christian Blandford Fund for making this project a reality and helping to transform the ward. Once again many thanks from all our staff this change to the ward environment will make a huge difference. If you have not yet entered for the CBF Lake District Triathlon and plan to do so, please do so now as numbers are limited and places are filling up fast. Click here to apply for the CBF Triathlon
Posted in Blog, Fund Raising, Things We've Done, Triathlon.

Father Christmas visits St George’s

 
Santa at St Georges

www.christianblandford.com

  It has become a tradition that has now been going since 2010. The Bowlers and the Hancox's, trustees of the Christian Blandford Fund, order and wrap the presents and we visit the hospital to hand them out. This year Santa had his usual elf  Chichi (Christian) and we were also joined by the reindeer Prancer (Jessica) who had a fabulous time ordering Father Christmas around. We also had a full entourage of help including Henry Blandford,  Darren and James Bowler, Neil Berrecloth, the wonderful play specialists, and Trevor Jacobs who offered his photography services at very late notice. It is always an emotional day. We vividly remember being at the hospital this time of year, hoping that we would be able to get home for as normal a Christmas as we could manage. The hospital wards are, as always, full of love and hope tinged with a fair share of pain and sadness. We like to think that we managed to raise a few smiles today and hopefully brightened up the day for some children and their families during a difficult time. The photos are on our Facebook page here and can be downloaded in print quality here.
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Santa and his Elves Visit St George’s

We had a wonderful day handing out presents to the Children at St George's Hospital in Tooting
www.christianblandford.com

www.christianblandford.com

  Thank you very much to the play specialists for all their help. Thank you to the trustee families, Darren and James Bowler , Amy and Anna Hancox and Henry and Christian Blandford for being amazing Santa helpers! The photos were all taken by the very talented Hugh Miller from Boy meets Girl Photography who gave up his time and skills for nothing but a thank you. The photos are available for the parents to look at and share on Facebook here or they can be downloaded in print quality from here. Thank you also to all our wonderful supporters and donators who have raised money and donated money so this can be possible.
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