Santa’s Helpers Bring Joy To Children’s Ward Patients

A Nottingham based charity supported by local businesses, has helped to decorate the Paediatric Critical Care Unit at the Nottingham Children’s Hospital, and donated over £10,000 worth of lifesaving equipment.

Four volunteers from The Harley Jae Trust, along with staff at Ilkeston based Poppy-PR, collected donations comprising of Christmas trees, tinsel, baubles and lights to turn the unit, based at the Queen’s Medical Centre, into a winter wonderland on Thursday 3 December.

Businesses and schools from around the East Midlands made donations to create Christmas spirit at the hospital, Mandy Knowles and Gaynor Timson hosted a raffle at All Hallows primary school to raise £53 for the cause and Year Four pupils at Lowes Wong Junior School made their own decorations to give to the ward.

Nottingham based B&P Paving donated £100 worth of decorations, and Derbyshire based Poppy-PR along with Hex Productions, donated a tree and two large bags of decorations.

Managing director at ALB Investments and Trustee of The Harley Jae Trust, Arran Bailey said: “We are absolutely delighted to be helping children, many of whom are terminally ill, feel more at home during the festive period. I can only imagine how hard it must be for the families of these children at this time of year, and anything we can do to help is extremely worthwhile.

“We would like to thank all of the business and schools that donated decorations to this great cause and we hope that we were able to put a smile on the faces of some ill children. We also understand how hard it must be for families and friends of the children and we will continue to do anything we can to help.”

The new life saving equipment that has been donated will include ten suction machines and five saturation monitors, the charity also has plans to provide new furnishings for the parents room.

Charity founder, Joe Rafter said: “It was fantastic to make the ward look and feel more Christmassy and I hope that we have been able to bring a few ill children a bit of happiness and comfort over Christmas.

“It is fantastic that we have been able to raise the money for new life saving equipment at the ward and we are very grateful for the generosity pledged by Nottinghamshire businesses. It doesn’t stop here though, and we will continue to work hard to support children with life changing illnesses.”

The charity was set up in 2006 as a trust fund for Harley Jae Blanchard-Rafter, who was born with an extremely rare neurological condition, to help raise money to buy a specialist wheelchair, which he needed to help with his physical development.

Unfortunately Harley died at the age of 7 due to the nature of his complex condition. In memory of him, the charity aims to continue fund raising to support other children with life changing conditions by providing aid and relief in the form of facilities and equipment.