A quick visit to Queen’s Hospital on Tuesday 9th July brought some smiles to the children and teens on the Tropical Lagoon, and Tropical Bay wards, as well as Children’s Outpatients. Clowns in the Sky a small national charity have been lucky in scooping £3200 from the Tesco Bags of Help Programme to support the work they do at the hospital on the children’s wards and with day care in 2019.
Donna Byrne, Development Officer for the charity submitted an application to the scheme over a year ago in February 2018, and in September and October 2018 shoppers were able to vote for their favourite of three chosen charities in the Roneo Corner store as well as other branches in and around the borough and into Brentwood, Essex, with the winner receiving a grant up to £4,000 and runners up £2,000 and £1,000.
Donna said “ 2018 was a milestone year for the small national charity ‘Clowns in the Sky’, it should have been a celebratory year for a very special young lady that would have turned 18 on 28th November, but sadly this young lady ‘Jennifer Chambers’ lost her 9 month battle to a brain tumour in 2004 at the age of 3. The legacy that ‘Jennifer’ left behind which is Clowns in the Sky has however grown and grown and now brings smiles to children in hospital from Newcastle to the Isle of Wight, with Romford, Basildon, Southend and Colchester in the mix, along with Great Ormond Street, Kings College, North Middlesex and Lewisham & Greenwich.”
The charity which funds portable arts & crafts, and sensory equipment, as well as funding children’s entertainer sessions with all of this being made available to every child in hospital, and they also give small grants to families if they have a child with a brain tumour to help with the smaller things and make the bigger things easier to cope with. The charities main aim is to bring smiles to the faces of children in hospital.
Donna continued “Tesco and their customers have helped us to fund the 3-4 monthly refills of the existing 3 trolleys at Queen’s, and pay for monthly visit from the very funny and talented ‘Skittleman’, children’s entertainer for the whole of 2019 who we contract from a charity named POD. It has also enabled us to provide them with a large batch of our own designed activity and teen books, the first batch which was delivered to Chantel and Lucy from the Play Team at the hospital on Tuesday 9th July, 12 boxes, approx. 3,000 of each, with a further 2,000 of each to follow later in the year when hopefully Lesley from Tesco will accompany me to deliver them. HUGE thanks to the Play Specialists for the amazing job they do and for meeting me to help load their delivery. Was then good to catch up with Lesley Davey, Community Champion at the Roneo Corner store to leave some with her which will help to raise more awareness of the charity, and promote the good work that Tesco does.”