Gifts for children with severe complex needs from the WiSH Upon A Star appeal

Children with a variety of illnesses and complaints have been benefitting from an assortment of sensory toys and items thanks to an appeal run by the My WiSH Charity.

Ten suitcases full to the brim with an array of goodies have been handed over to the Childrens’ Community Nursing team who use them on their visits to young patients who have complex needs.

There are 20 staff members spread across the whole of Suffolk who spend between two to 10 hours a day or night in the homes of the youngsters.

The gifts were given to the team from the charity’s WiSH Upon A Star appeal, which is run from the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, with the aim to use the toys to aid physio and other care and to also give respite to parents and carers.

They have up to 12 young people on their books, ranging in ages, illnesses and abilities.

The appeal was launched in 2017 and helps to care for young patients to enhance the care every child visiting the hospital receives.

Some of the ways the appeal has already helped have included purchasing an Accuvein, a device that shines a light on the patient highlighting their veins, making it much easier to take blood or cannulate young patient; and toys for waiting areas including the cardiac diagnostic unit, emergency department and outpatient department. The appeal has also purchased an iPad for theatres to help calm young patients before surgery and distraction toys and a disco light to help ease their stress and discomfort post surgery.

The gifts handed to the CCN team included arts and crafts, black out fabric, disco lights, keyboards that roll out across the bed, musical instruments, bright parachutes, bubbles, two iPads and a constellation projector.

Sara Carnell, the complex care lead with the team, said: “We look after children with complex care needs and a lot of the toys need to be sensory and My WiSH donated quite a lot of gifts to which we are very grateful. We care for children in their home right across the county and our nurses could spend a minimum of two hours with children who might needs some help after school and up to a maximum of 10 hours with children who show some distress when they are ready for bed.

“We take the burden off the families by giving them blocks of care to enable them to function as it can be quite hard going for them.

“The children we care for have got a chronic life limiting condition and our motto is that we care for their health needs and want to incorporate social activities as much as we can.”

The team works out of Ipswich to cover much of the east of the county and Bury St Edmunds for the west.

Sally Daniels, My WiSH appeal manager, said: “As a charity we cover so much within the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust so sometimes even we learn about new areas that need our support. It has been a pleasure to work with the CCN team and we are thrilled that these items will aid the wonderful work they do. We also cannot thank the wonderful fundraisers who have enabled us to be able to buy these items. Their support, as always, is amazing”.

Pictured above is the Childrens’ Community Nursing team and Sally Daniels, the My WiSH appeal manager, with the gifts for the children.

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