Center Parcs donation pays for host of books for children in hospital

Claire Thompson, left, paediatric play specialist Ruth Hassall, centre, and Lisa Parkington-Crook with the books purchased thanks to a donation from Center Parcs Elveden Forest. Photo: My WiSH Charity.

A host of colourful and imaginative books have been purchased for children spending time in hospital to help them during their stay on the wards.

The money for the reading material was donated to the My WiSH Charity, which supports the work of the West Suffolk Hospital, thanks to a donation of £250 from Center Parcs. That was further enhanced by 30 per cent from book publisher and supplier Usborne Books making a total of £325.

Up to 35 books (some pictured above) were then purchased along with jigsaws and snap cards for the youngsters in the paediatric department and the Rainbow Ward, at the hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.

The donation from Center Parcs Elveden Forest was targeted at the charity’s WiSH Upon a Star children’s appeal which aims at caring for young patients to help enhance the care they receive at the hospital, and it came from their community fund after an approach was made to them by part time employee Lisa Parkington-Crook, who also works for Usborne and operates Lisa’s Little Book Den.

Lisa has previously given books for the hospital to use in the children’s areas and this money bought lots more for the youngsters to use on the unit and also for the staff to give out as Christmas presents. Some of the books are titles such as “Going To The Hospital” to help children understand what’s going on plus fun books such as “Noisy Bottoms”.

Lisa said: “We bought a mixture of play books and also spent the money on some gifts for the children who were staying in hospital over Christmas.”

Helping to choose the books was play specialist at the hospital Claire Thompson and Lisa added: “There was quite a selection, mostly they were chosen to help distract children when they were about to have a procedure carried out and included puzzles that they could do, some fact-based books and some about the human body. There were lots and lots of different kind of books including those that help the children relax … a host of different subjects.”

Claire’s position at the hospital and her salary for two years was created by funds from My WiSH and her role has proved to be so successful that the hospital trust is continuing to employ her.

Nicky Richardson, village director at Center Parcs Elveden Forest, said: “Supporting our local community is hugely important to us and it’s fantastic to hear about the difference this donation will make to children staying in hospital. Our community fund was designed to allow our colleagues to support causes close to their hearts and we’re always thrilled to hear the stories behind the donations.”

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