Charity’s a real brick when it comes to its support for hospital

A haven of tranquillity at an Oxford hospital has received a boost from Didcot charity Play2Give.

P2G, our charity of the year, has given a £100 boost to a sensory garden based on the outpatient’s floor of the Oxford Children’s Hospital.

The charity’s donation will help keep the garden’s upkeep spick and span and Andy Baker, who set up the charity in September 2007, said he was delighted the organisation was able to add its gesture to an outstanding feature of the hospital.

The 28-year-old said: “I recently got taken on a tour of the sensory garden within the outpatients of the children’s hospital, and I was blown away.

“It was the first time and first part of the children’s hospital I had ever seen, as it is tucked away behind the kids outpatients, but it was breath taking and stunning. I couldn’t believe it.

“It is a beautiful well thought of part of the hospital in terms of relaxation and calm for so many kids whilst they can be in hospital for days or sometimes weeks on end and allows them and their parents to get away from the noise and bustle of the wards to slip away for a bit of peace and quiet within a tranquil area that is an oasis of peace.”

The garden boasts a wide range of decorations from wooden carved sculptures of owls and turtles to colourful creatures and artificial turf grass benches that helps to make stays in hospital for the young patients and their families a bit brighter, colourful and comfortable.

P2G, which has raised over £40,000 for Oxford’s Children’s Hospital in almost a decade, will have a brick laid in the garden in recognition of the £100 donation and funds raised through its Christmas ‘Sleigh2Give’ campaign that helped deliver more than 3,000 gifts to sick children last Christmas.

Born with a brain injury, Andy, who underwent brain surgery aged 12 after suffering a further head injury when he was eight, added: “We are delighted to have a brick in our name and I cannot wait to see it be cemented into the ground where it will lay with many other donors for a lifetime to come.

“This, together with our lifelong room that we have sponsored and named on Melanie’s Ward, is two lovely sentiments within a hospital that means so much to me for all they did to treat me when I was young.”

Other supporters whose names are etched on bricks cemented into the garden’s ground includes Rosie’s Rainbow Fund, Team Mikayla, ASDA Wheatley and O.S.C.A.R.

Erica Watson, senior play specialist at the Oxford Children’s Hospital, added: “Charitable funds and many families helped to make the sensory gardens a reality.

“It took two years to achieve our goal and now it provides an additional space that offers children of all ages and abilities the opportunity to enjoy an outside space that incorporates sensory noises, textured plants and a place to get away from the busy Hospital life. It is a quiet, calm and safe space.

“Thank you Play2Give and everyone else locally that has supported this project and hopefully will do in the future.”

This year marks P2G’s 10th anniversary and Andy is hoping to mark the occasion by raising £10k for P2G’s main charity’s, Oxford Children’s Hospital and Headway Oxfordshire.

To donate to the charity’s appeal, visit tinyurl.com/zksd8xx and let us know what you are doing to help.

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