YOUNG patients cared for at Basildon and Orsett hospitals are benefitting from better and brighter surroundings, thanks to seven years of fundraising for the Polly Parrot Appeal.
At another successful annual Polly Parrot Charity Ball on Saturday 29 July, the fund- raising team, donors and guests celebrated raising a grand total of £284,674.57. Since the appeal was launched in 2010, countless supporters have abseiled, skydived, baked, walked, hiked, run, crafted, danced, swung golf clubs, ridden rollercoasters and sweated in the Polly Parrot costume.
Their fundraising efforts have paid for improvements to the hospital environment including amazing sensory and distraction equipment, artwork on the walls and toys and games consoles, to make younger patients feel welcomed, relaxed and comfortable.
Helen Mattock, capital and technical accountant, said: “We want to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported the Polly Parrot Appeal over the past seven years.
“This year’s charity ball, with its 204 guests, the highest number we’ve ever had, was the icing on the cake of an already amazing effort by our staff, patients, business partners and local community, to give back to their local hospital.
“We’ve already spent money and improved so many areas within Basildon and Orsett Hospitals that treat our younger patients, and we have lots more plans afoot.”
There is still more to do and the appeal will continue. The next project to be unveiled shortly is the refurbished play room on Puffin ward and future plans include a makeover of the parent’s room on the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). There is also ongoing maintenance of Polly’s Pad, where families of sick children can stay.
Clare Culpin, managing director, said: “There are a few members of the finance team who have taken on the responsibility of fundraising for the Trust and their hard work and effort is astonishing. I want to thank them, as well as the many people who have supported the appeal over the years.
“It’s lovely this appeal has really got the backing of local companies, and people who are investing in their local hospital services, that will treat and care for their children and grandchildren. By making the environment more welcoming and child friendly, the Polly Parrot Appeal really does make a huge difference to the young patients and their families, who use it.”