15 December 2010
A group of warm-hearted local bikers have again raised money to ensure that regular attendees at Robin Ward have a happy and memorable Christmas.
Earlier this week (Sunday 12 December) a party was held for approximately 35 children, who were given presents thanks to donations from a local group of bikers called Onyourbike2000. This is the seventh year where Robin Ward patients have benefited from the group’s generosity, and members of the group gave out presents to the children at a party held in the hospital’s dining room, catered by the dining room staff, with a Christmas cake. Some members dropped off presents before Sunday for the children.
Club founder Liam Tattan said "We were so pleased to be involved. The members enjoy it, and the party is a real highlight for us. Last year, a party couldn’t be held due to swine flu, so we couldn’t bring a large group of children together. However, instead children were all sent gift vouchers and presents, so although there was no party, they didn’t miss out and the money raised by the Onyourbike2000 members, was spent on vouchers for them and given out that way instead. Vice president Alan Boydens of the club raised the money to buy vouchers."
Lead nurse for children Ann Kelly said: "Every year we have a Christmas party for the regular attendees of Robin Ward. We held this year's party last Sunday which was a great success. The group of bikers always fund raise and donate presents and vouchers for the kids. We are so grateful; the children love their special day, and receiving the lovely presents the bikers bring. Some of Robin Staff came in in their own time to support the event.
"The party is organised by Angela Jones, the play specialist in Robin Ward, who liaises with everyone. It all started some years ago as a small event in Robin Ward with presents being given out and has now progressed to an annual party down in the dining room. We have music and entertainment. This year there was face painting and Chicano the Magician who was a great success. It is lovely to catch up with families and the children. It is also good to see some kids looking well and not as inpatients when they are acutely ill. Some families join us who have experienced bereavement and whilst this isn't for everyone some do choose to come and bring their other children; it is good to see them and catch up.
"Older children who are regular patients for us, such as oncology patients and those with chronic diseases, are sent gift vouchers."
Any donations or vouchers left over from the party are utilised throughout the year for those patients who are inpatients and have a birthday or celebration of some sort or to provide resources for the children, such as games, DVDs, and art and craft supplies.