There’s always something going on in the world of WellChild. Here’s where we tell you about the latest developments – hot off the press. Whether it’s fundraising triumphs, scoops on our work with children and young people or news on any of our many events, this is where to find the latest information.
Speedy support for WellChild marathon runners (Nov 2013)
WellChild welcomes sleep report (Nov 2013)
The Wine Club supports seriously ill children (Nov 2013)
WellChild welcomes annoucement on school support (Oct 2013)
Vote WellChild at the Chelsea Building Society! (Oct 2013)
Bin Weevils and WellChild team up for new t-shirts (Oct 2013)
Puppets for WellChild (Sept 2013)
Hawes & Curtis unveils bespoke WellChild Collection (Sept 2013)
Danone Nations Cup supports WellChild (Aug 2013)
Soap star match will benefit WellChild (July 2013)
WellChild children enjoyed Mountain Rescue day (July 2013)
WellChild proud to be part of 6Cs Live! (July 2013)
Saharan trek raises £12K for WellChild (June 2013)
WellChild Professor gives inaugural lecture (June 2013)
Charities thank Royal Patrons for cruise ship invitation (June 2013)
Professor Ed Wraith - sad news (May 2013)
Families take the Harry Potter Tour with patron Prince Harry (May 2013)
Making the most of your medicines (May 2013)
Join in the Zumba fun for WellChild! (May 2013)
Thanks to Krowmark for keeping WellChild staff warm! (May 2013)
Corrie star launches Scumrun for WellChild (May 2013)
Opinions needed for gastronomy care survey (April 2013)
10th annual Energy Dinner a great success (April 2013)
Become a member of our new Parent Group (April 2013)
First ever WellChild Professor of Community Children's Nursing (April 2013)
Gearing up for Scumrun! (Mar 2013)
Caroline Flack hosts Helping Hands Dinner at the Savoy (Mar 2013)
WellChild welcomes government response (Feb 2013)
Well done to top seller Seb! (Feb 2013)
Could your company lend a Helping Hand? (Jan 2013)
Speedy support for WellChild marathon runners
WellChild has an aptly named sponsor for its 2014 London Marathon team. The UK’s leading provider of rental equipment Speedy Services will be sponsoring the team as they race round the marathon course, with the firm having a team of ten runners taking part to raise money for seriously ill children.
The WellChild team will be known as ‘Team Speedy’ and the firm’s name will appear on the vests worn by WellChild’s 160 strong team of runners. The sponsorship will enable WellChild to look after their runners before and after taking part in the event, and also pay for running vests and the after race reception for runners and their families.
Speedy staff will also be volunteering for WellChild at the London Marathon Expo which takes place in the run up to the event and will be out in force on the streets of the capital on marathon day, April 13th 2014, helping cheer WellChild runners around the course.
As well as providing rental equipment, Speedy deliver a host of support services to a wide range of businesses across the infrastructure, industrial, and construction industries as well as to local trades and industry. For more information about Speedy Services go to www.speedyservices.com
WellChild Challenge event manager Steve Williams said: “We are delighted to have the support of Speedy for next year’s marathon. They are the ideal partner for us, not just because their name is so suitable but because of the energy and enthusiasm they bring to the task of supporting our work with seriously ill children and their families across the UK.”
Simon Richards, Executive Support Director from Speedy said: “Wellchild is one of our adopted UK charities and our people at Speedy have been involved in a lot of Wellchild projects over the past couple of years. We’re really looking forward to supporting the team at the London Marathon and hope to raise a lot of money for such a worthwhile cause”
WellChild welcomes sleep report
WellChild welcomes the launch of the new report by the Family Fund “Tired all the Time” which looks at sleep deprivation in families caring for disabled or seriously ill children.
The findings of this report will be very familiar to many of the families that we work with. You can find out more about the report here.
The Wine Club supports seriously ill children
Thanks to The Wine Club who are supporting WellChild with a special raffle during their Christmas Showcase to be held at Searcy’s Club at the top of the Gherkin building in London on December 1st.
The Wine Club will hold a tasting session designed to introduce guests to a portfolio of wines in the venue which enjoys stunning views.
With a selection of wines from producers all over the world this is a chance to "try before you buy". This is also an opportunity to interact with fellow wine lovers and share your wine stories. The afternoon will include a selection of Christmas themed canapés to accompany the wine.
Tickets for this event are priced at £25 per person and available on a first come basis. 12:00pm - 16:00pm
You can purchase tickets for the event here.
WellChild welcomes annoucement on school support
WellChild welcomes the recent announcement by Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson to amend the Children and Families Bill to ensure schools are supporting pupils with medical conditions. The amendment means schools will be required by law to make appropriate arrangements for supporting pupils with long-term health needs. This will be supported by new statutory guidance that will be issued next year.
Linda Partridge, Director of Programmes at WellChild said: “This positive news ensures that schools are better equipped to support thousands of pupils with long-term health conditions. Parents and care professionals can feel more confident that these children are receiving the appropriate medical support they need at school, ultimately ensuring they are not precluded from mainstream education. We look forward to see the guidance soon.”
Steve Jones, WellChild Parent Advisory Panel member recalls how his daughter, Hannah had medical support from her local High School at every stage of her illness, enabling her to have as normal an education as possible.
“During her GCSEs Hannah was having radiotherapy and chemotherapy for her brain tumour. The high school did everything to make her feel part of the year group. After her radio therapy sessions each day she wanted to be at school to be with her friends, even with her sickness, hair loss, and lack of energy. We were lucky in this respect that the school did everything possible. We didn't want her to go to school, or sit her exams facing such a life threatening condition; she however did and that’s what’s important. The school even made it possible for her to sit her GCSEs.”
Vote WellChild at the Chelsea Building Society!
Please vote for WellChild in a poll held at the Chelsea Building Society fom Friday 25th October to win us some funds to spend on our work with seriously ill children and their families!
WellChild and two other charities in Cheltenham are in line to receive a cash boost as Chelsea Building Society calls on local people to make their vote count in a new initiative.
Charity Choices is being rolled out across all of the Chelsea’s 35 branches, with each branch giving away a total of £1,000 to three charities.
The scheme will launch in the Chelsea branch on the High Street on Friday 25th October, when existing customers and members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite of three local charities to receive a cash donation.
The three charities set to benefit are: WellChild, ActiveGloucestershire and The Pied Piper Trust.
The number of votes received by each charity by the end of the fortnight voting period will determine the amount of money each receives; the one with the most will receive £500, second most £300 and third most £200.
“The charities benefitting are all important to our local community so it’s great that the final decision will be placed in the hands of our members to decide how the money will be split,” said David Knight, manager of Chelsea Building Society in Cheltenham.
“As a mutual organisation we always look to support local charities and good causes so I really hope everyone will take the opportunity to come into the branch to make their vote count.”
The initiative is being supported by the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation, of which Chelsea Building Society is part. It is funded by an innovative community scheme, Small Change, Big Difference, which sees members donate the pennies from the interest they receive on their accounts, just once a year, before nominating charities that are close to their hearts to receive support.
Bin Weevils and WellChild team up for new t-shirts
WellChild are excited to be part of a new venture with children’s social world designer Bin Weevils in which people can create a personalised t-shirt featuring their favourite characters and a proportion of the cost being donated to charity.
A new, fun, innovative and FREE phone and web App by T-Shirt Booth allows young fans to choose which Bin Weevils characters they want to wear, along with a message, a photo and the colour, creating a completely unique t-shirt.
Both Bin Weevils, one of the UK’s leading digital social worlds for kids and WellChild have formed a special partnership for the T-Shirt Booth app, which launches today. It takes just a few taps on the App - and the T-Shirt is delivered.
This unique tool for fundraisers is the brainchild of Digital Giving which develops engaging and innovative projects to benefit national and international good causes.
Its launch in early October means that orders can be fulfilled for Christmas and what better gift could there be than one which delights a child and benefits so many seriously ill children across the country?
Once the free T-Shirt Booth App has been downloaded, customers then choose the character they want and the colour and size of garment. They will then need to take a photo with their phone of the person whose picture they want to appear on the T-Shirt, and type in their name.
The T-Shirts will include the character, the WellChild logo, the photo and message. Available in a wide range of colours and children’s sizes, all t-shirts can be seen as an image before payment is processed.
Each T-Shirt will be competitively priced at £9.99, with £2.00 from each sale going to the charity associated with the character purchased.
Colin Dyer, CEO of WellChild said: “It’s great that we can get involved in such a fun fundraising activity as this. There’s a great tie between Bin Weevils and WellChild as each character in the game can customise their nest, just as we customise the homes of seriously ill children via our Helping Hands projects. We hope people will really enjoy using t-shirt booth knowing that they are not just getting a personalised t-shirt but also helping so many children who desperately need our help.”
Amelia Johnson, Co-Founder BinWeevils.com “We're delighted to be partnering WellChild on this great project and hope that the BinWeevils branded T-shirts help WellChild to connect with fans of BinWeevils whilst raising awareness of the amazing work done by the charity to help children throughout the country.”
Puppets for WellChild
Recently the 8th annual Summer Puppet Festival took place in Cheltenham. The week-long event at Bayshill Church Hall raised a fantastic £385 for WellChild.
Colin Bailey, who kindly organises the festival every year, is pictured here presenting the cheque to Melanie Parker from WellChild, accompanied by a collection of his handcrafted puppets.
Hawes & Curtis unveils bespoke WellChild Collection
Jermyn Street shirt-maker Hawes & Curtis has unveiled a unique charity collection to raise money for WellChild, the national charity for sick children.
Taking inspiration from the WellChild brand and logo, designers at Hawes & Curtis have come up with a trio of products designed to put a smile on the face of the wearer at the same time as boosting funds for this inspirational charity.
With all profits going straight to the charity, the collaboration will see 600 shirts, 250 ties and 50 cufflinks go into stores across the UK and online at http://www.hawesandcurtis.com/wellchild.asp
Touker Suleyman, owner of Hawes & Curtis, said he was incredibly proud to be involved in such a special project.
“I have known about WellChild for a while now and am personally struck by their unswerving dedication to improving the lives of sick children,” he said.
“When the opportunity arose for us to get involved in a meaningful way we seized it with both hands and I am delighted this idea has come to fruition.”
WellChild Chief Exectutive Colin Dyer was delighted by the new collection. He said: “We feel very privileged to be working with such a prestigious company as Hawes & Curtis, especially in their centenary year. We hope that the public love the fine shirt, tie and cufflinks as much as we do and support us in ensuring that the UK’s seriously ill children and young people receive the very best quality care.”
The white twill shirt with fine houndstooth detail uses the charity’s purple accent on the cuff along with a side tab showing off the WellChild logo. The purple silk tie displays the WellChild handprint logo on the reverse, with the cheery logo also appearing on the rhodium matt-and-sheen cufflink.
Hawes & Curtis hopes to raise more than £15,000 for the charity, with the shirt retailing at £34.50, the tie at £29 and the cufflinks at £20. All items go on sale on September 6th.
Famous for shirts and with an illustrious client list which has included Edward VIII and Cary Grant, Hawes & Curtis operates 28 stores across the UK and celebrates its centenary this year.
Danone Nations Cup supports WellChild
WellChild is proud to be the chosen charity for the biggest international U12’s football tournament in London, hosted by Danone, at the legendary Wembley Stadium on Saturday 7th September 1.30pm – 7pm.
We are delighted to invite you along to this inspiring event! The winning teams from 32 countries will compete for the title of World Champions and will be joined by the likes of international ambassador Zinedine Zidane, along with many other football celebrities.
It will be a fun family day out for all, with a variety of entertainment including a Guinness World Record attempt, contests and prizes, and a special performance from street-dance group Diversity!
Tickets for the occasion are £5 and there is currently a buy one get one free offer. Simply use this code DNCIPR01 when purchasing your tickets here.
Soap star match will benefit WellChild
Stars from the soap world will be tackling a team of businessmen on August 11th in a special football match and fun-day at the Dovecote Stadium in Leicestershire, to raise money for WellChild and the charity Once Upon a Smile.
The celebrity team, made up of stars from EastEnders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Doctors and Waterloo Road, includes Reece Douglas, Dean Smith, Tony Discipline, Danny Miller, Anthony Quinlan and Will Rush. Kick off is at 2:00pm but the celebrities will be signing autographs beforehand for fans that arrive early.
Organised by long-term WellChild supporter Nigel Toplis, managing director of Bardon-based Recognition Express, the annual event sees the star-studded Once Upon a Smile FC celebrity team take on Nigel’s team of top businessmen from the franchise industry.
Last year’s match raised just over £6,000 which was divided between WellChild and Once Upon a Smile.
Said Nigel: “The aim is to raise as much money as possible for both charities and lay on a really fun afternoon for all. We did really well in 2012, so it would be excellent if we could beat last year’s total.”
Nigel’s team aims to raise at least £4,000 for WellChild. He has been supporting the work of WellChild for over a decade and has personally helped to raise £44,500. His exploits have included a gruelling bike ride in Cuba, a successful attempt to reach the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro and an eight-day 100km trek over the Sahara Desert which raised more than £12,000.
Nigel said: “I have always felt it is important to put something back into society and I am happy to do what I can. The trek across the Sahara was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life but the sense of achievement and the money we raised made it all worthwhile.”
He added: “WellChild would not be able to do all the great work it does without the public’s support. We are organising what is going to be a great day out where people can come along, meet the celebrities, enjoy themselves and raise money for a fantastic cause at the same time.”
WellChild children enjoyed Mountain Rescue day
Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team in the North East of England hosted a great day out for some very special children and young people from WellChild and other charities on Saturday July 13, organised with the other rescue teams from across the North East Search and Rescue Association. The sun shone too, just to make a day full of adventures even more special.
Each year, mountain rescuers host an event that brings together children and families from several charities with a Royal connection. Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge is the Patron of Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) and he and his brother, Prince Harry, encourage their various charities to work together to promote their work and create opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
Mike France from MREW explains: “For the last five years, different regions of Mountain Rescue have organised a day of outdoor activities for young people from several associated charities. This year, these were Centrepoint, which provides accommodation services for socially excluded homeless young people, WellChild, which supports children and families in managing the consequences of serious illness and the Child Bereavement Charity, which supports families affected by the loss of a child or children suffering bereavement.”
In previous years, this amazing event has been held in the Lake District (Patterdale 2009 and Keswick 2012), North Wales (2010) and the Peak District (2011). This year it was Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team and the other five teams in the North East region who were proud to host the event in and around the Cleveland MRT base at Great Ayton in North Yorkshire.
“Planning for the day has been underway for over a year,” says Cleveland MRT Deputy Team Leader, Carl Faulkner. “We managed to arrange accommodation and a wide selection of activities suitable for all the different age groups, abilities and agilities of the children, young people and families and everyone – more than 25 children and young people in all - seems to have had a great time.”
Cleveland MRT was supported on the day by members of the North of Tyne, Northumberland National Park, Scarborough and Ryedale, Swaledale and Teesdale and Weardale teams as well as RAF Leeming MRT and members of the Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA). Activities included bushcraft, a visit to a mine at Kildale and demonstrations of search and rescue techniques as well as orienteering and abseiling.
“Lunchtime back at Great Ayton was a bit special too,” explains Carl Faulkner, “as many of the local emergency services that we work with on a regular basis also joined in. Assistant Chief Constable Sue Cross from North Yorkshire Police, who is also the president of the North East Search and Rescue Association, led the involvement of all the Police and Ambulance services from the region. We had a visit from an RAF Sea King helicopter from Leaconfield, police dog and Scene of Crime Officer demonstrations, a visit from the local Fire and Rescue Service (complete with sirens and flashing lights) and five SARDA dogs – who always steal any limelight. The younger children, in particular, loved the search dogs.”
Hannah Bemand, WellChild’s family coordinator said: “This is the second time I’ve been lucky enough to attend this annual event. It would be great if all our staff could see for themselves what a great day this is for the children. It is so different for these children and their families - an opportunity they will not get anywhere else and they have had a great day out.”
Carl Faulkner said: “Everyone involved, about 160 people in all, was there on a voluntary basis to make this a great day for all the children, young people and their carers and families. Their obvious enjoyment and excitement was the best thanks possible and I’d like to thank all the local businesses who also contributed to making this such a fantastic occasion.”
ACC Sue Cross added: “It gives us great pleasure to support events like this. Today’s event has been fun, exciting and inspiring and I would like to thank the organisers for their tireless work, not only for today, but every time they turn out in their own time to help others in distress.”
The day concluded with a hog roast at the Cleveland MRT base and the presentation of individual photograph souvenirs and ‘goody-bags’ to all the children and families, presented by Carl Faulkner and ACC Sue Cross from North Yorkshire Police.
WellChild proud to be part of 6Cs Live!
WellChild is proud to be working in partnership with NHS England and 6Cs Live! to champion the brilliant work being done by nurses, midwives and other care staff.
6Cs Live! Which is launched today (July 5th) is based on the vision of care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment and offers support and encouragement to all nursing and care professionals who are working everyday to improve the quality of their service and the experience of their patients.
6Cs Live! Communication Hub will provide a place to share best practice, experiences, ideas and resources. Nursing staff can also sign up for regular updates and webinars with nursing leaders but also get involved by taking part in the online network to link up with colleagues right across the country to share examples of compassionate care and good practice – as well as celebrate success. We will be encouraging all our WellChild Nurses to sign up and be part of this exciting new initiative.
Visit 6C’s Live! for more information or the 6C’s Live Communication Hub to register.
Saharan trek raises £12K for WellChild
Two intrepid fundraisers have recently returned from a gruelling eight day, 100km trek over the Saharan desert, raising a fabulous £12,000 for WellChild.
Nigel Toplis, Managing Director of Bardon-based Recognition Express and Russell Golding, who runs Kettering-based Recognition Express Home Counties North, joined a group of 19 trekkers guided across the Sahara by Moroccan Berber tribesmen.
Nigel said: “The terrain changed from day to day, from volcanic rock and huge 100m sand dunes back to flat again, and we were walking in temperatures of up to 40º carrying full back packs. It was a challenge but a great experience and I’m so pleased that we managed to raise such a significant amount of money for the charity.”
Russell was lucky enough not have any dangerous encounters with the local wildlife although he does admit to checking his sleeping bag for scorpions very carefully each night!
“It was a fantastic experience and I met some great people. The training I did beforehand stood me in good stead and I didn’t get any injuries, not even a blister!”
In the run up to the trek Nigel also embarked on a training regime to make sure he was in the best shape for the challenge.
Over the years Recognition Express has raised over £44,500 for WellChild and Nigel has made a substantial personal contribution by undertaking challenges that include a bike ride in Cuba and a walk to the peak of Kilimanjaro. Every year, the Recognition Express franchise owners also play in a charity football match against a team of soap-stars.
Recognition Express is the UK’s leading franchise specialising in badge manufacture, signs, corporate gifts, promotional products, plus school uniforms and branded clothing.
To make a donation please visit Nigel’s JustGiving website: www.justgiving.com/ntoplis or Russell’s at www.justgiving.com/russell-golding-sahara or send a cheque (made payable to WellChild) to Janet Matthews, Recognition Express Unit 2, Cartwright Court, Forest Business Park, Bardon, Leicestershire LE67 1UB.
WellChild Professor gives inaugural lecture
Mark Whiting, the first ever WellChild Professor of Community Children’s Nursing who is based at the University of Hertfordshire, gave his inaugural lecture recently.
The lecture was titled: “From student nurse to WellChild Professor of Community Children’s Nursing, a 35 year journey in a twenty minute lecture.”
WellChild Director of Programmes Linda Partridge said: “We were delighted that Mark chose to give his first lecture as WellChild Professor of Children’s Community Nursing on International Nurses day at an event hosted by the University of Hertfordshire.
“Mark addressed an audience of nurses from across Hertfordshire and provided highlights of his nursing career, including some humorous moments, since his early days as a student nurse.”
Mark’s appointment establishes one of only a handful of clinical nursing professorships within the United Kingdom and will be undertaken in combination with Mark’s substantive post as Consultant Nurse for Children’s Community and Specialist Nursing with Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.
Mark was already an established member of WellChild’s Nursing Advisory Panel, and has supported the work of the charity over a number of years. His appointment will support the development within the University of Hertfordshire of a research focus upon the experience of children and young people with disabilities and complex, long term health needs.
Mark will establish a programme of research working alongside the highly valued nationwide team of WellChild Children’s Nurses who support children to leave hospital and return home to their families with the care and treatment they need.
Charities thank Royal Patrons for cruise ship invitation
WellChild and two other charities have come together to thank The Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Cruises for inviting them to the naming ceremony of a new cruise ship on Thursday June 13th.
WellChild has been selected, along with East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and SkillForce to benefit from the official naming of Royal Princess on June 13th because their Royal Patrons are Prince Harry, The Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke of Cambridge. The Duchess is expected to become “godmother” of the cruise ship in a ceremony in Southampton. Each charity has around 100 guests sharing in the occasion, including a special gala dinner and an evening on-board the ship.
The charities, all members of a forum of the young Royals’ charitable interests, were thrilled to be invited and have teamed up to thank Princess Cruises and their Patrons.
Chief Executive of EACH Graham Butland said: “Our Royal Patronage has provided us with many great benefits including raising awareness and understanding of our services, boosting our media profile and inspiring the local community to pledge their support. EACH is also delighted to be able to share special occasions like this with our supporters and thank Her Royal Highness and Princess Cruises for the opportunity to do so.”
SkillForce’s CEO, Peter Cross OBE, said: “SkillForce is touched and honoured to be invited aboard. Today we are saying a massive thank you to our fantastic supporters and partners who make it possible for SkillForce to inspire young people to succeed using the skills of ex-Forces personnel. It’s wonderful to join up with other charities like WellChild and EACH, and have the opportunity to wish Her Royal Highness – and our Patron, The Duke of Cambridge - every possible happiness ahead of their new arrival.”
Colin Dyer, WellChild’s CEO, said: “WellChild are delighted to have Prince Harry as our Patron and to be involved in the naming ceremony. We are looking forward to what we are sure will be a fantastic event for our supporters and guests. We would like to thank the organisers for supporting WellChild in our work helping seriously ill children and their families across the UK.”
Professor Ed Wraith - sad news
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Professor Ed Wraith, a Consultant in Paediatric Inherited Metabolic Disease at Manchester Children’s Hospitals NHS Trust.
Professor Wraith was awarded the Best Doctor accolade at the WellChild Awards 2009 where he met the charities patron, Prince Harry during the evening’s ceremony. Nominated by two families, one of which had a child who had been treated by Professor Wraith for 14 years, the judges heard how he showed an outstanding commitment to his patients and made each one feel special and important.
Professor Wraith spent the majority of his career at the forefront of care and research around Mucopolysaccharide (MPS) diseases; inherited disorders of the metabolism caused by aproblem with the enzymes that break down complex carbohydrates. He ran many clinical trials related to his work, attended conferences in his field of expertise and was widely respected by his peers and the families that he worked with.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and patients at this time.
Families take the Harry Potter Tour with patron Prince Harry
Some of our WellChild families were treated to a magical day out last month when they toured the Warner Bros studios in which the Harry Potter series was filmed.
As part of the Charities Forum, WellChild were kindly offered the tickets by WellChild’s patron, Prince Harry who attended with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the creator of Harry Potter, J K Rowling.
Those invited included a number of families WellChild has directly helped via the WellChild Nurses and Helping Hands projects, along with members of our review panels and those on our private Families group on Facebook. All were treated to a marvellous day surrounded by the mystical memorabilia of the wonderful films and the incredible sets of Hogwarts School, Diagon Alley and Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
WellChild are extremely grateful to the Charities Forum who gave us the opportunity to share this once in a lifetime experience with our families, many of whom couldn’t wait to let us know how much they enjoyed the day.
‘We have just finished the tour and it was sooo good.. Thank you for all your hard work arranging a day to remember,’ Family of children with Wolfram Syndrome.
‘What a fantastic day!! Thank you so much for orchestrating. Boys had a brilliant time,’ Family with a child cared for by a WellChild Children's Nurse.
Making the most of your medicines
WellChild is supporting calls for more tailored, personal advice to be provided to patients to address a lack of knowledge about medicines. It follows new research from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) which reveals:
- Only 49% of those questioned in the survey said they were usually aware of the side-effects of a medicine before they started taking it
- Less than half (44%) said they would check how a medicine might react with their other prescriptions
- Just 42% of people always read the patient information leaflet included in the pack
- Only 10% would check for interactions between a medicine and any herbal remedy they are taking
This demonstrates a clear need for patients to understand their medicines better to improve their health and reduce medicines waste.
£300 million of medicines are wasted every year in the UK. At least half of this is recoverable as much of the time it comes down to people not taking their medicines as recommended (between 30-50% do not take their medication as prescribed). It is vital patients understand what they are taking and how to take what’s being prescribed to them correctly as failure to do so could lead to serious illness. It can also have a serious impact on NHS finances and increase hospital admissions.
In collaboration with WellChild the RPS has now published a list of questions, which people can ask when they are being prescribed a medicine. More information is available here.
Join in the Zumba fun for WellChild!
Mandy Bains of Cheltenham will be raising money for sick children in the UK when she organises her fourth annual Zumbathon for WellChild on 30th June 2013. Previous years have attracted around 700 people who danced for up to three hours, led by Mandy and her team of top-class instructors.
Mandy who hosts Zumba classes across the county is hoping to raise £10,000 for WellChild with the Zumbathon at The Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham. Her effort will allow WellChild to carry on its work for chronically sick children throughout the UK.
Mandy is looking forward to the event and working hard to make sure it is even bigger and better than previous years and she is busy getting support from as many people in the area as possible.
“There are hundreds of thousands of children in the UK living with long-standing illness or disability. By dancing in aid of WellChild I hope we can help them in their aim of improving the lives of as many sick children as possible,” Mandy said.
WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer is delighted that Mandy has decided to support WellChild.
“It’s great that Mandy and hundreds of people in the county are prepared to help us in this way. For many of the kids we support just getting through the day is a huge challenge and they have an Everest to climb in trying to live the kind of normal life we all take for granted. On their behalf I thank Mandy and her team for all the hard work they have put in,” he said.
Whether you’re a seasoned Zumba dancer or fancy trying out the Latin-based dancing craze, come and take part in the fourth annual Zumbathon in Cheltenham.
You and hundreds of others will be shimmying and shaking for over three hours, led by Mandy and her team of top-class instructors.
Join in the fun on Sunday 30th June at The Park Campus, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham from 2:00pm. Tickets are just £15 and all proceeds will come directly to WellChild. To purchase tickets please contact Mandy on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07790 545570.
Thanks to Krowmark for keeping WellChild staff warm!
WellChild would like to thank Krowmark Workwear for its support for the charity by providing WellChild staff with branded t-shirts, waterproof jackets and hoody jumpers.
The branded clothing has been donated to the charity by Mark Ponsford, MD of Krowmark Workwear who has been a strong supporter of WellChild. Mr Ponsford has taken part in a number of challenge events such as the London Triathlon and London Marathon to raise money for WellChild’s work with seriously ill children and their families.
The clothing will be worn by WellChild staff at events across the UK including our Helping Hands projects and at fundraising events such as the marathon.
WellChild’s Challenge Events manager Steve Williams said: “We would like to thank Krowmark very much for this donation, their continued support has been fantastic.”
Corrie star launches Scumrun for WellChild
On Thursday 2nd May actress Catherine Tyldesley who plays feisty Eva Price in Coronation Street launched the 2013 Scumrun car challenge from the Ramada Dover.
Competitors in this hugely popular and fun driving challenge set off from Dover in decorated bangers and fancy dress to travel across Europe to raise money for WellChild's work for sick children in the UK. See pictures from the launch here.
Scumrun, now in its eighth year, is the biggest and original charity banger driving event featuring cars worth no more than £500 which competitors have modified in imaginative and unusual ways. Between May 2nd and May 6th more than 100 competitors from all over the UK will make the journey across Europe, taking on new challenges in mystery locations each day.
Catherine enjoyed meeting participants as they competed for the coveted ‘Spirit of the Scumrun’ prize, awarded to the team combining the best fancy dress, most inventive car modifications and best sense of team work. Among a host of other awards will be a prize awarded to the team raising the most for WellChild.
WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer is delighted that the organisers and participants in the Scumrun have decided to support WellChild. He said: “There are hundreds of thousands of children in the UK living with long-standing illness or disability. For many of the children and young people WellChild supports just getting through the day is a huge challenge and they have an Everest to climb in trying to live the kind of normal life we all take for granted.
"On their behalf I thank everyone involved in this year’s Scumrun for all their hard work. It is sure to be a brilliant, fun event and we wish all those taking part a fantastic and successful drive.”
Scumrun organiser Ed White said: “Our prime objective has always been to raise much-needed money for national children’s charities and so we’re really hoping this year’s Scumrun will make a tremendous difference to the lives of the children supported by WellChild.”
Opinions needed for gastronomy care survey
WellChild have funded an exciting new project with the Centre for Children and Families Applied Research (CCFAR), Coventry University. We would like to invite you to contribute to the project by telling us your views in a brief online survey.
The project aims to provide new online training for professional carers to help them to improve their skills and confidence when working with families, children and young people with gastrostomy care needs. As part of this project we are giving families, children and young people the opportunity to tell us what they think of the care they are currently receiving.
Your valuable comments will help us to identify how professional carers can better meet your needs. Please click on the link below if you would like to complete the survey and contribute your thoughts.
If you would like more information please contact Reena Patel at email@example.com or Tel: 02476795814. Thank you in advance for your support towards this important project.
To see the survey click here.
10th annual Energy Dinner a great success
In a setting befitting a futuristic film, members of London's energy community gathered on April 25th for the annual Platts-sponsored Energy Dinner in support of WellChild. The dinner raised approximately £130,000 for WellChild's work, with the final total still to come.
You can see pictures from the evening here.
"We'd like to thank the energy industry for coming out in force last night and across the years to the Energy Dinner in support of this important charity," said Sarah Cottle, editorial director of power for Europe and Asia at Platts, the energy information arm of The McGraw-Hill Companies and Dinner sponsor since 2004.
"We're proud to announce that monies raised during the event's first decade total nearly £1.5 million, providing much needed support to WellChild and the children and families it helps."
Each year the aim is to make the dinner an uplifting, out-of-this world experience, and this year's theme transported guests to future. The Intercontinental Park Lane ballroom was cloaked in black and white, with bright stars and green lasers adding to the evening's mystique. Greeters dressed as Jedi knights welcomed the approximately 500 guests, including patrons from such companies as Barclays Capital, Centrica, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Ernst & Young, HETCO, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and RWE, among others.
All proceeds from the Energy Dinner will support WellChild's wide-ranging initiatives, including: research; its specialist WellChild Nursing teams that care for children with complex care needs in and out of hospital; and the WellChild Helping Hands endeavor, a program of volunteers that tackles home re-design development projects necessary to facilitate any special needs of critically-ill children.
"We are delighted that WellChild is again the beneficiary charity of the Energy Dinner. The fundraising at the event over the years has been tremendous and continues to give us an amazing boost in our work to help and support seriously ill children across the U.K. We would like to thank everyone involved in the Energy Dinner," said WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer.
Become a member of our new Parent Group
With increasing gaps in care for seriously ill children and young people in the UK, many thousands of families depend on WellChild’s support. As a parent of a child or young person with a long term health condition or complex care needs, you are not only the expert in the issues that you are facing, but also in the support and information that you need. This is why we need you!
As a member of our new parent group you will not only have the opportunity to discuss the work that we are doing, but also influence the direction of the work we are yet to do. We want to hear about the main issues that are affecting families with sick children so that we can represent your views to key decision makers. You will also be helping to ensure that the information we produce both for, and on behalf, of our families is useful and written in the right way.
If you are a parent and would be interested in becoming a member, or you would like to find out more, please get in touch with Hannah: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 01242 548760.
First ever WellChild Professor of Community Children's Nursing
WellChild is delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Whiting as the first ever WellChild Professor of Community Children’s Nursing at the University of Hertfordshire. This innovative and exciting appointment will establish one of only a handful of clinical nursing professorships within the United Kingdom and will be undertaken in combination with Mark’s substantive post as Consultant Nurse for Children’s Community and Specialist Nursing with Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.
Mark is already an established member of WellChild’s Nursing Advisory Panel, and has supported the work of the charity over a number of years. His appointment will support the development within the University of Hertfordshire of a research focus upon the experience of children and young people with disabilities and complex, long term health needs.
Mark will establish a programme of research working alongside the highly valued nationwide team of WellChild Children’s Nurses who support children to leave hospital and return home to their families with the care and treatment they need.
A formal launch of the WellChild Professor of Community Children’s Nursing post will take place on International Nurses Day on Friday 10th May when Mark will be giving an inaugural professorial lecture at the Lindop building at the University of Hertfordshire.
Linda Partridge, Head of Programmes for WellChild commented: “Mark is highly respected in the field of children’s community nursing and this appointment will aid him in continuing to raise the profile of seriously ill children in the community and addressing their needs at a local, regional and national level.”
WellChild Professor of Community Nursing, Mark Whiting said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be taking on this new challenge. It is almost thirty years now since I took up my first appointment as a Children’s Community Nurse in North West London. Throughout that time my greatest frustration has been the lack of research to demonstrate the real difference that children’s community nurses can make to the lives of children, young people and their families.
"I hope that his appointment will allow me to begin to address that research-deficit. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am very grateful to both WellChild and the University of Hertfordshire for their support in this venture.
"The fact that I will continue to work four days a week within the Children’s Community and Specialist Nursing Team in Hertfordshire Community Trust will help to enhance the credibility and robustness of the research programme by ensuring that it is fully grounded in clinical practice.”
Jackie Kelly, Head of Department for Nursing (Children's, Learning Disability and Mental Health) and Social Work, at the University of Hertfordshire commented: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Whiting as the WellChild Professor of Community Children's Nursing at the University of Hertfordshire. This appointment gives us a new and exciting opportunity to work with WellChild and further extend our established partnerships with Mark and with Hertfordshire Community Trust. We welcome the potential opportunities that this collaborative initiative will enable in addressing a wider audience and ultimately promoting greater emphasis and broader awareness of issues for seriously ill children and their families.”
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust Children’s Services General Manager Marion Dunstone said: “We are excited to be working in partnership with the University and WellChild to improve research in children’s community nursing. Mark’s appointment will also allow our Trust to continue the development of its children’s services research programme.”
The post which is jointly funded by University of Hertfordshire and WellChild has been agreed for an initial three year period.
Gearing up for Scumrun!
Preparations for this year's brilliant Scumrun driving event are now well underway. WellChild is delighted to have been chosen as the beneficiary charity for the Scumrun 2013. This hugely popular event is a drive around Europe for cars costing no more than £500 and each year it raises lots of money for a children's charity. in 2013 the chosen charity is WellChild.
Lots of teams are gearing up for the event and fundraising ready for the big day. Among those people WellChild would like to thank are Creed Foodservice who have donated food and refreshments for goody bags for the participants in this year's Scumrun. And Experience Days who have made a £50 donation to the team Crash Test Brummies.
Good luck to all who are getting ready to take part in this year's event which takes place from May 2 to May 6. Read more about Scumrun here.
Caroline Flack hosts Helping Hands Dinner at the Savoy
On Thursday March 7th, TV presenter, Caroline Flack will be hosting the exclusive Helping Hands Dinner at the iconic Savoy Hotel in aid of national children’s charity WellChild.
The glamorous, black-tie event sponsored by long-term WellChild supporter GlaxoSmithKline, will feature a champagne reception, dinner and top class entertainment from comedian Tim Vine, chart-topping indie band The Noisettes and renowned operatic group Amore.
With all tickets sold out well in advance, the star-studded event will be attended by many of WellChild’s celebrity ambassadors and is set to raise more than £150,000 to support the charity’s work with sick children and young people across the UK.
WellChild, which has Prince Harry as its Patron, funds a team of WellChild Children’s Nurses who work to ensure that seriously ill children and young people can be cared for at home rather than in hospital wherever possible. The £150,000 target at the Helping Hands Dinner matches the cost of funding a new WellChild Children’s Nurse for life.
WellChild also funds a number of other projects designed to provide support to families caring for children and young people with long-term or complex care needs. This includes the charity’s unique Helping Hands scheme which enlists volunteer support from companies and organisations of all kinds across the UK to tackle life-transforming home and garden development projects, providing practical support for families with seriously ill children and young people.
WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said: “We are really looking forward to our first ever Helping Hands Dinner and we are incredibly grateful to all of our sponsors, celebrity supporters and everyone who has helped us get this event off the ground. Our work for children and young people across the UK is growing all the time, and it is fantastic to see so many people throwing their support behind that crucial work by supporting what we hope will be the first of many events of this kind. We have reached many thousands of children and families and we are fiercely determined to reach many thousands more.”
WellChild welcomes government response
WellChild welcomes the response from the Government on February 19th to the recommendations of the Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum originally published in July last year. This Forum brought together some of the key decision makers and professionals from across the wider children’s health environment along with representatives from children’s charities and parents, and set out clearly the need for system wide changes, desperately needed to improve the health outcomes for all children and young people.
From WellChild’s perspective we are particularly pleased that the response included a determination to provide better care for children and young people with long term medical conditions, along with better co-ordination and integration of services tailored around individual needs. Last week Linda Partridge, Director of Programmes at WellChild, attended a prelaunch event at Evelina Children’s Hospital in London at which Dr Dan Poulter, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, signed the Government’s pledge to work in partnership both locally and nationally with children, young people and their families to ensure that there is change at every level of the system.
Looking ahead, WellChild is delighted to have been invited by Dr Poulter to be part of a new Forum, which will bring together representatives and leading experts in children’s health to oversee and monitor progress as this work moves into the next phase.
Linda Partridge said: “There have been many reports over the years which have highlighted the need for change and, in some areas, there have been improvements. However the original work of the Forum has clearly said there is a need for wider change now. This is to ensure that all families benefit from system wide changes. Families need the right services at the right time and we must ensure that this happens.
“I am also pleased that the urgent need for more timely diagnosis and accurate data has been identified. For too long we have struggled with not knowing who and where these children are and this must change. I am honoured that WellChild is going to be part of this important and exciting work and look forward to making sure that children, young people and their families remain firmly at the heart of this Forum.”
Well done to top seller Seb!
Well done to Seb Search, a pupil at Balcarras school in Cheltenham who has won a fundraising competition to support WellChild.
When Jess Akino from WellChild visited the school recently to talk about what we do, she set the students a challenge to sell as many Spot the Dog badges as they could in 12 days to support our work with seriously ill children and their families. Seb rose to the challenge, selling all his box of badges and raising £54.33 for WellChild. He has won two tickets to the Screening rooms in Cheltenham.
Jess said: “Very well done to Seb for working so hard to sell his Spot the Dog badges. The money raised by him and his fellow students will be a great help to WellChild in our work helping seriously ill young people up and down the UK.”
Could your company lend a Helping Hand?
2012 was a brilliant year for the WellChild Helping Hands project! During the 12 month period we managed to complete 31 projects which brought a fantastic improvement in the quality of life for sick children and their families across the UK. We could not have done that without the help of some fantastic corporate volunteers.
In the Helping Hands project we take a team of volunteers into the family home of a sick child for one or two days to carry out improvements such as bedroom and garden makeovers. Find out more about Helping Hands here.
With the addition of an Assistant Project Manger to our team we hope to do many more Helping Hands projects in 2013 and support more children and young people who are living with serious illness or complex care needs. That is why we need your help to find more companies who are willing to lend a Helping Hand.
We are looking for community focused companies to help us with our latest list of projects covering all areas of the UK. Please take a look at our list of projects and see if your company could step forward to provide the volunteer workforce and resources to make a real difference to children and families on one or more of these projects. See the full list of projects here.