Visitors to Nottingham’s Old Market Square today (Thursday 28th September) were surprised by a 3.5-metre high Robin Hood puppet, which was seen parading around the city centre.
The giant puppet, which is the mascot for Nottingham Children’s Hospital, paraded through Nottingham’s city centre, representing the big ambitions of the hospital’s next fundraising appeal.
The parade was organised by Nottingham Hospitals Charity, to launch the next phase of its Big Appeal, which is aiming to raise £1.5million for Nottingham Children’s Hospital over the next three years.
Every week, more than 1,000 critically ill children are cared for at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, which is based at the Queen’s Medical Centre. Doctors and nurses work around the clock to diagnose and treat babies, children and young people from across the East Midlands.
Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Big Appeal is raising money to support these children, and the families and staff caring for them.
The Appeal will help children like Odette Derry, aged four, who has been treated at Nottingham Children’s Hospital for a rare brain tumour since February 2022.
Odette has undergone surgery 17 times, and spent seven months as an inpatient at the hospital. Her parents, Sophie and Tom Derry, are supporting the Big Appeal in gratitude for the staff who cared for her.
Sophie said: “Odette received incredible care from the staff on ward E40 during her time in hospital. You are thrust into this unknown world that you really don’t want to be part of, but the staff do everything they can to make a horrendous situation bearable. The capabilities of the surgical team are mind blowing, and the nursing staff are angels in uniform!
“You see the same faces day in, day out, and they start to feel like family. They see you at your darkest moments, and are always there to support. Nothing was ever too much trouble, and Odette loved everyone. From the play workers, to the rehab team, to the cleaners, everyone was wonderful.”
Donations to the Big Appeal will fund enhancements in three key areas of Nottingham Children’s Hospital:
- Neonatal Unit – including a dedicated ultrasound machine, plus improvements to accommodation for parents and families while their premature babies are being cared for in the unit.
- Children’s Outpatients – brand new sensory rooms and clinic rooms, and a complete redecoration of the department to breathe new life into the ‘front door’ of Nottingham Children’s Hospital.
- Play areas – toys, games, reading materials and play equipment, to help children feel calm, settled and at ease when in hospital.
Barbara Cathcart. Chief Executive of Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “Our Big Appeal was originally launched in November 2016, and has already helped provide a £500,000 refurbishment of the parent and family accommodation at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, enabling parents to stay in comfortable surroundings, close to their child during their time in hospital.
“Thanks to our donors, we were also able to give £1.6million towards an intra-operative MRI machine, which has transformed brain tumour surgery for young patients at the children’s hospital.
“We are delighted to launch the next phase of the Big Appeal and focus our efforts on raising a further £1.5million to help the babies, children and families being cared for at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, including the new Neonatal Unit currently being built.”
Jenni Twinn, Neonatal Redesign Programme Director, explained why the Big Appeal is so important: “The NHS funding will provide the main infrastructure – but we need the Charity’s support to really enhance how the new neonatal redesign will look and feel for families.
“Many studies have shown how a positive, warm and comfortable environment can make a huge difference to how patients and their families feel while they are here in hospital.
“Please donate today and make a real difference to patient care for our tiniest patients and their families here in Nottingham.”
People across the East Midlands can support the Big Appeal by making a donation, taking part in one of Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s fundraising events, holding their own event, or pledging a gift in their Will.
To find out more about the Big Appeal or to make a donation, please visit www.nottinghamhospitalscharity.org.uk/bigappeal