Sponsor a bed for parents of sick children in Altnagelvin Hospital

Lisa Storey and Deirdre Cassidy from Altnagelvin Parents Support Group pictured with Ida Story, Cathy Grady, Karen Young, Grainne McKeever and Hazel Gallo with the Glide Away beds
Lisa Storey and Deirdre Cassidy from Altnagelvin Parents Support Group pictured with Ida Story, Cathy Grady, Karen Young, Grainne McKeever and Hazel Gallo with the Glide Away beds

A group of parents, whose children have chronic health problems, have launched a fund raising campaign to provide specialist beds for carers on the Children’s Ward in a Derry hospital.

The Altnagelvin Parents’ Support Group has appealed to local businesses, clubs, friends and families to help them raise enough funds to sponsor a bed and help ensure every parent has a bed to sleep in.

The group has raised enough funds to donate two specialist ‘glide away’ beds to the ward and a third has been donated by a group of bikers (Mates on Bikes) in memory of local man, George Hogg.

The three beds were delivered to the hospital yesterday, thanks to local transport company, O’Neill’s, that firm collecting them in England.

Launching the fund raising campaign Lisa Storey, chairperson of the Altnagelvin Parents Support Group, said: “Whether you are a parent who has spent one night in the Children’s Ward in Altnagelvin or you have a child who is a regular on the ward, you will understand what the experience is like.

“It can be emotionally and physically draining. For many parents the Children’s Ward is a second home and our group would like to help ensure every parent, whether it’s for one night on the ward or for parents of a child with a life long or life limiting condition, they will have a bed to sleep in,” said Lisa.

For each bed that is sponsored there will be a plaque dedicated to the fund raisers.

The support group was established in March, 2018 and the need for comfortable beds for parents was a recurring topic during meetings.

“The staff are amazing and do the best they can to make you as comfortable as they can, but there is nothing quite like having a bed to sleep in. Many families have come through more specialised children’s hospitals across the UK and they have specific beds for parents. That is where we got the idea for the glide way beds,” Lisa added.

“They don’t take up much room, fold out to a full sized bed and are really quite comfortable for parents to sleep on.”

The beds cost £900 each and more than 20 are required for the ward.

“This is where we need help. We are a group of parents whose children have quite complex medical needs. We can’t go out and do a lot of the fundraising ourselves. Of course our families and friends will fundraise, but it is not going to be enough to buy 20 plus beds for the ward.”

Lisa called for people to support the appeal in 2019 and sponsor a bed.

For more information visit www.facebook.com/AltnagelvinParentsSupportGroup or email altnagelvinparents@gmail.com