North East Connected

Building society helps charity reduce trauma of A&E visits for children

CHILDREN using a newly-built children’s accident and emergency department will benefit from a grant from a North-East building society.

Our Hospitals Charity – formerly South Tees Hospitals Charity – has been awarded £1,000 from Darlington Building Society’s community five per cent fund.

And it will help towards providing sensory and therapeutic equipment for the new unit when it opens at The James Cook University Hospital in July.

The unit has been purpose-built to treat children and young people from all around the Tees Valley, and is only the second of its kind in the North-East – the other one being in Newcastle.

Ben Murphy, Head of Our Hospitals Charity, said: “It’s great that James Cook Hospital has got this new facility for our children and young people, enabling us to provide the very best for them. Urgent and Emergency Care can be a frightening place to be, especially if you are a child who is in pain. Hopefully, the support the charity provides will improve their experience.

“We are delighted that Darlington Building Society is helping us by supporting our appeal for funding, This grant will go towards buying things like sensory toys and therapeutic equipment which will help to distract children when they are scared or in pain.”

The cheque was presented to Ben by Lisa Sidgwick, manager at Redcar and Northallerton branches. She was inspired to support the charity after her daughter Emily, 16, had to go to A&E at James Cook University Hospital three times, after tearing her meniscus in her knee while playing football for Skelton United.

Lisa said: “As a mum, I saw at first-hand the value of the work that’s done in accident and emergency departments, and the benefits there would be of establishing an A&E department especially for children.

“Going to hospital can be a worrying time for anyone, and particularly children, so the work of the Our Hospitals Charity, at James Cook, in helping to fund this new department is so important. It’s, therefore, a pleasure to be able to make a donation through Darlington Building Society’s five per cent pledge to such a fantastic cause.”

Despite the economic challenges of the pandemic, Darlington Building Society will this year donate £60,000 to worthy organisations from profits generated during 2020. And County Durham Community Foundation, which administers the five per cent fund on behalf of the Society, has announced it will make an additional donation to bring the total handed out to at least £100,000.

The organisations to benefit from the 2020 profits so far are: Butterwick Hospice Care; Darlington CAP Debt Centre; South Tees Hospitals Charity; Hartlepool Special Needs Group; Middlesbrough Amateur Swimming Club; Yarm Wellness Centre; Spennymoor Town Band; the Allstars Netball Team, from Hartlepool; and Skelton United Football Club. More beneficiaries will be announced later this year.

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