Gift Drive for the Children's Ward

With two in-patient long-term wards, various clinics and incredible teams, the local community has benefited greatly from the children’s ward at Royal Berkshire Hospital. Having recently been there to shadow a doctor, I saw many patients presenting with vastly different concerns. Some only a few months old, some edging into adulthood. But all of them and their families were going through one of the most difficult times of their life. To help provide some distractions, I decided to start a gift drive.

A team which piqued my interest was the ‘play team’ who work to distract children during their visit through play, particularly during difficult procedures such as injections. As a member of the youth forum at the hospital and being in contact with one of their volunteering leads, provided me with a platform to make a meaningful difference. I decided to start a gift drive to help support the play areas with the idea of providing more games, toys or books which would appeal to different age groups and help distract them during what would otherwise be a more painful or uncomfortable visit.

With the help of my team, I was able to collect three boxes and two bags full of 80+ toys and books ranging from toy fire trucks to teddies and games. We would also like to say thank you to everyone who donated something, as all these donations will make a difference. The gifts have been distributed throughout the children's wards and clinics at the hospital and some extra toys have been donated to other children's charities in Reading.

As the New Year starts, try to reflect on one act of kindness you would like to do this year and find opportunities to help. This could be a cause or initiative you feel passionately about. More importantly, create opportunities for yourself and others by getting in contact with people and offering your own ideas. This not only helps your cause but also teaches you valuable skills like organisation and confidence.

By Dora - Year 12