Generous Walsall residents are being asked to support a Crafty Christmas appeal to help young Manor Hospital patients take their minds off their aches, pains and treatment this festive season.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Well Wishers charity ran the appeal for the first time last year to bring in donations of craft materials such as colouring books, glitter, ribbons, paper, card and pens, so that patients can get creative during their hospital stay. And it was such a hit that the charity is making the same plea for 2017.
Angela Kelly, Play Specialist on Ward 21, said: “Toys can be fantastic but often if the child can’t really play with them as they’re too poorly then it doesn’t always help pass the time while they’re in hospital.
“What we’d love is not only for them to be able to do something arty which keeps them smiling, but so that they can have something to keep from it. Hopefully for some children it can serve as a reminder of the time where they were most brave.
“I’d love to see items that the children can paint like a mug or a coin bank; something that is more long-lasting.”
Samantha Deane, fellow Play Specialist, added: “The arts have a key role in improving the wellbeing and health of patients and can help to speed up recovery. It’s great to see children who are really suffering have a little fun amongst all their struggles.”
We’re looking for easy, low key crafts can be done in bed using a table and are not too messy. The team is also looking for tables that are adjustable in height so they can be fitted to the child; ensuring comfort and inclusion.
Georgie Westley, the Trust’s Fundraising Manager, said: “Craft items are really popular and, as we know from our Play Specialist colleagues, they can really help our young patients. As well as making use of materials on the children’s ward, we can use them in the ward’s playroom, on the Paediatric Assessment Unit and for paediatric patients in the Emergency Department as well as in our paediatric outpatients department. And patients can make items to take home with them.
“Last year people were fantastic and really got behind Crafty Christmas and we hope they’ll do the same this year.”
To donate unwrapped items for a “Crafty Christmas” please pop along to the Purple Hub in the outpatients corridor on route 003. The hub is open Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm. If you have a large amount of items to donate, a collection can be arranged – contact Georgie Westley on 01922 656643.
Check out Well Wishers at www.walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk/charity
**Photo features Schoolboy Dylan Maybank, a Well Wishers’ fundraiser, with some of last year’s Crafty Christmas donations.