Fun and games will prove the best medicine for poorly patients on the children’s ward at Walsall Manor Hospital now a charity appeal has reached its target.
In January 2020, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Well Wishers charity launched a £2,000 appeal to buy a RockinR mobile gaming unit for Ward 21 and hoped to reach its goal within a few months. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in all of the charity’s planned events for the year being cancelled, however.
Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager explained that a charity toy sale started things off by raising £207, followed by £81 from a raffle and £187 from a charity fashion show which was the last event Well Wishers was able to put on.
“And even that was affected as attendance figures were down due to concerns over the virus, although it was before lockdown, obviously,” said Georgie.
“We were thrilled to receive a £250 donation from the West Brom Building Society and at Christmas we had a fantastic donation from Walsall Saddlers Club Chair Paul Daniels that took us to our target. We are over the moon that we were able to receive the unit last month when the RockinR charity founder Jonny Miree came to the hospital to hand it over.”
RockinR was set up in Wakefield in memory of young patient Reece Miree and takes his gamer tag as its title. Reece died of a brain tumour when he was just 11.
The gaming cart provides interactive mobile gaming solutions, technology and equipment for children and young people in hospital. Each gaming cart is specifically built for the medical environment and helps healthcare professionals, play specialists and play facilitators to provide much-needed recreation and play to children and young people who are immobile, staying in hospital or visiting as an outpatient.
Jo Plank, Ward 21 Play Specialist, said: “The smiles on our patients’ faces are just brilliant to see as there’s so much they can access from the RockinR. It really helps take their minds off things and we’ve been fortunate enough to have two units on the ward – thanks to a generous donation made by a patient’s family. “
Jamie Kidner, aged 10, is pictured having a whale of a time. Jo added: “Jamie showed me how to play the games and enjoyed an afternoon playing on it.”
Jamie’s mum Victoria said: “The RockinR charity game station was an especially nice touch for my son.”
Last month the family of former Wednesbury patient Jeanette Ashton handed over a RockinR in memory of their loved one. The mother-of-three died following an aggressive form of cancer last December at the age of 61.