Target reached for new TVs on theChildren’s Ward in just three hours

A charity set up to improve the experience of children with chronic health conditions and their families who regularly stay in Altnagelvin Hospital raised over £12,000 for new TVs in just three hours.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 11:48 am
Updated Saturday, 25th January 2020, 1:13 am
Deirdre Cassidy, Yvonne Devenney and Lisa Story, Altnagelvin Parents Support, pictured at the Derry Journal People of the Year Awards held recently in the Waterfoot Hotel. DER3619GS – 054

The Altnagelvin Parents Support Group, which was officially launched last year, put out an appeal for people to sponsor 49 inch Smart TVs for the 23 rooms on the ward in December.

They were ‘amazed’ to reach their target in just three hours.

It was the second sponsorship appeal the charity had launched after they raised over £20,000 for specialist glideaway beds for parents to sleep on while their children are in hospital.

The beds all have plaques dedicated to the people who sponsored them and the plan is to do the same thing with the TVs, which are already making such a difference to children and their families.

Lisa Storey, Chairperson of the Altnagelvin Parents Support Group, told the ‘Journal’: “It was an amazing response and we weren’t expecting to raise over £12,000 in such a short space of time and so close to Christmas as well. We never thought our campaigns would take off in the way that they did.

“We are planning to host an event at the end of March to thank all the people who have sponsored the TVs.”

“It is really touching that people are so keen to sponsor things on the ward to make life easier for children and their families. We had people getting in touch to sponsor TVs in memory of a loved one who has passed away and it is just so lovely to have that.”

Lisa said that families who have stayed on the ward since the TVs were installed have said they are a ‘Godsend’.

She has also had experience of it herself, when her four-year-old son spent time in hospital.

“Normally when Abel is in the hospital he just wants out. Like any four-year-old he doesn’t like staying in one place for too long, but with the TV he is entertained and the whole experience is less stressful for him.

“Everyone is so appreciative of them.”

While the group no longer needs any funds for TVs, they have asked for people to follow them on social media for further fundraising opportunities in aid of the support group.

Lisa said it is nice to think that any family new to the ward won’t know what it was like before.

“Parents will have a comfortable bed to sleep in and a Smart TV to let their children watch their favourite things. It just makes a hospital stay so much easier.”