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May 2018

Sarah Dougal
Sarah Dougal.
Sophie Dix.
Sophie Dix.

May 22

Fundraisers complete amazing feat for our hospital

Two fundraisers have completed an amazing feat for our hospital.

Sarah Dougal and Sophie Dix ran the Brighton Marathon last month, supporting the Head and Neck Cancer Service and the Children’s Burns Club respectively.

Sophie reached the finish line in 4 hours, 51 minutes and 43 seconds, and Sarah completed the marathon in 5 hours, 29 minutes and 59 seconds.

Sarah, who raised £470 for the Head and Neck Cancer Service, said: “My marathon prep was far from perfect as I struggled with tendonitis during training and was unable to run for six weeks prior to the day. Despite that I managed to finish, albeit slower than I'd hoped for. 

“The injury and reduced training played on my mind during the run and I struggled with nausea, cramp and feeling lightheaded from 22 miles, but the amazing support really spurred me on and crossing the line was an incredible moment. Despite declaring 'never again’ on the finish line, I'm already researching another!”

Sophie, who raised £1,840 for the Children’s Burns Club, said: “Brighton 2018 was my third marathon. I ran over three hundred miles from the beginning of January in training. Given the cold wet weather this year, I often questioned why on earth I was putting myself through this. Then I reminded myself why: my daughter, Delilah, was severely burned in 2011 and I have greatly appreciated the work of the Children’s Burns Club in helping her grow into the confident, happy child she is today. Their work goes far beyond the injured child and supports the whole family affected by the injury. It was therefore my pleasure to take on a challenge and try to raise money to give something back to the club. 

“I stayed fit and well throughout training so was hoping for a PB on the day. I was hoping for a time of about 4.35 so lined up with the 4.30 pacer at the start line. The atmosphere was fantastic through the city and I managed to stay on pace through the first 13 miles. However, it wasn’t my day and I slowed and couldn’t catch them up again. The last six miles were very tough as the course went through rather industrial docklands area and the heavens opened. The finish line was a welcome sight! I managed to run the whole way and finished in 4.51.

“As I sat with my very welcome pint, I swore never again. The following day I entered Brighton 2019 - when will I learn? I hope to get a place in the London Marathon too and have entered the ballot. I figured that if I want my friends to dig a little deeper and raise more money for the club, then I will need to dig a little deeper too and run two marathons on consecutive weekends.”

You can still support Sophie and Sarah’s fundraising via their JustGiving pages:



May 21

Non-emergency orthopaedic surgery set to be performed at Braintree Community Hospital

Non-emergency orthopaedic surgery is set to be performed at Braintree Community Hospital (BCH) from Monday, June 4.

The orthopaedic department will be transferring some of the services that are currently provided at Broomfield Hospital to BCH, where safe and appropriate to do so.

Every year, the trust has to delay a number of our non-emergency operations due to the demand placed upon our beds from patients requiring an emergency admission. Transferring some of our non-emergency orthopaedic surgery to Braintree provides us with an excellent opportunity to offer a service that will not be impacted by A&E pressures and allows us to provide a more responsive, efficient and effective service for the community that we serve.

The initial phase will involve carrying out orthopaedic procedures for patients who have experienced extended waiting times, in particular for hip and knee surgery. 

For the first phase of the transference of services, 16 beds will be allocated to orthopaedic patients. The theatre list will commence with two operations per day, increasing once the service is embedded and there will also be a two-week period in July where the focus will be on performing day case operations.

Clare Panniker, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are committed to providing high quality, safe and effective care and the need to delay surgery for some of our patients awaiting surgery in the past has been far from ideal. Offering some of these patients the opportunity to have their procedures carried out at BCH offers a real improvement in patient experience and patient outcomes.”

Lisa and Kelsey Keighley Donation
Kelsey with the Wizard Ward team.

May 18

Six-year-old daughter of healthcare assistant generously gives fantastic selection of toys to children on Wizard Ward 

The six-year-old daughter of healthcare assistant Lisa Keighley, who works on the Surgical Emergency Ward (SEW), has generously given toys to children who are admitted to Wizard Ward.

Kelsey attended the ward with her mum on Thursday (May 3) to present the toys to the staff.

The fantastic selection included a baby doll, a Tigger toy, pom poms, books and much more.

Lisa said: “Kelsey has recently learnt about charity, and she decided that she would like to donate some new toys to the hospital for the poorly children. This is a side of her that I wanted to encourage and help her to develop.

“She asked her school teacher if they would be willing to donate a few toys to the hospital, which was agreed by the headmaster, and she also purchased a few new toys with her own money to give to the ward.” 

Mayor Appointment
The Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Yvonne Spence, with fundraising coordinator Charlotte Jefcoate.

May 17

The Mayor of Chelmsford selects ‘Our Charity’s’ dementia project as one of her ‘Charities of the Year’

We are delighted to announce that the new Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Yvonne Spence, has selected ‘Our Charity’s’ dementia project as one of her ‘Charities of the Year’.

At the annual meeting of Chelmsford City Council yesterday (Wednesday, May 16), the Mayor announced that she would be supporting fundraising for the project during her year in office.

Proceeds will go towards initiatives including the provision of day rooms on our elderly care wards, Baddow and Braxted, to enhance our patients’ hospital experience. This will provide a space for patients to socialise together, plus meet with their relatives and visitors.

The dementia team are also planning to purchase ‘kwick screens’ to enable the easy division of the day room areas for different purposes, helping to create a calm environment and make the area less clinical. They hope to be able to buy entertainment equipment, such as a record player so patients can enjoy music from a bygone era and a projector to screen classic films, in order to encourage patients to reminisce about their past experiences and to create a familiar environment.

Other desired improvements which charitable funding could facilitate are the provision of 'serene side rooms’, featuring mood lighting, aromatherapy and decorated ceiling tiles to reduce overstimulation of the senses for people with dementia. In addition, the team would like to purchase activity trolleys for the wards containing craft items such as card and wool as a tool to benefit people with dementia, offering a distraction from the ward environment. 

This is the continuation of our work to support the care of people with dementia at our hospital, following the completion of our two dementia-friendly gardens, the ‘Forget-Me-Not Garden’ and the ‘Live Well Garden’. We also encourage a wide range of other initiatives, including the Daily Sparkle newspaper, a medium of communication and a strategy for refocusing attention; music in hospitals, helping patients to regain a sense of control, independence, and confidence; and we receive donations of activity sleeves, knitted goods which assist with relieving stress and providing a source of motivation both physically and psychologically. Furthermore, patients enjoy visits from dementia therapy dogs on our wards and benefit from clear to read dementia-friendly clocks.

Yvonne Carter, Charities Manager, said: “We are extremely grateful to the Mayor, Cllr Spence, for so very kindly choosing our dementia project as one of her charities of the year.

“Our dementia project will benefit our patients enormously, creating a calmer, more welcoming environment which evokes positive memories.

“We are very much looking forward to working alongside the Mayor and her other charity for the year, Kids Inspire, towards her aim, ‘making better lives’ for the community of Chelmsford.”

The Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Yvonne Spence, said: "As my theme for the year, I have chosen ‘making better lives’ and have been keen to select two charities who do just that, but working with different age groups.

“Kids Inspire do wonderful work in helping youngsters with emotional, behavioural or mental difficulties stay on the straight and narrow, while the Dementia Project at Broomfield Hospital is looking to create empathetic day rooms that will improve the lives of patients whose condition means they stay far longer in hospital. These are two great charities who work to improve the lives of the residents of Chelmsford. I hope you will all join in supporting these excellent organisations."

INFORMATION: Here in the charities office, we are keen to offer guidance with your fundraising events and activities. Please contact us on 01245 514860 or fundraising@meht.nhs.uk to let us know your ideas of how you could support our dementia project.

May 8

Rotary Club of Chelmsford Phoenix donate fantastic selection of toys to our young patients

The Rotary Club of Chelmsford Phoenix have donated a fantastic selection of toys to our young patients.

Club members attended the ward on Tuesday, May 1, to present the toys to the Phoenix Ward team. These included a table top wooden train set, an air hockey table, an elephant hoopla, and play dough.

The proceeds were raised via a choir competition at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford. Three heats were held over three nights, with 13 choirs taking part. The final six were then chosen to go through to the final on March 22, where the winner was selected as St Michael’s C of E Junior School in Galleywood. 

The competition was sponsored by Gepp and Sons Solicitors of Chelmsford and the final was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Chelmsford, Nick Sillitoe, District Governor of Rotary District 1240, and other guests.

Janet Littlewood, Youth Committee Chair, Rotary Club of Chelmsford Phoenix, said: “A surplus of £1,600 was made which was divided between four local children's charities, so it was a great example of children helping children and as one of the beneficiaries was the Phoenix Ward, it could be said it was also Phoenix helping Phoenix.”

May 4

New Hall School teacher kindly donates more than £500 to Chemotherapy Unit raised through annual event in memory of her late father

A teacher from New Hall School in Chelmsford has kindly donated more than £500 to the Chemotherapy Unit in memory of her late father, Barry McKay.

Sarah Sidwell, a teacher of PE and girls’ games, organised a charity staff versus students hockey match at the school for the ninth year running. All players donated £10 to participate and spectators also supported the event, with £545.44 raised to enhance and improve cancer services at Broomfield Hospital.

Sarah was inspired to raise money for the Chemotherapy Unit in thanks for the care of her dad, who died of bowel cancer on December 24, 2009. 

She said: “Thank you to all involved, whether on the pitch, cheering at the side or donating money. My children both also donated as they are now in Year 5 and Year 7 and remember Grandpa umpiring the first ever match we played. 

“The match was close, with the final score of 1-0 after Mr Tom Taylor (Head of Rugby) scored a fantastic top corner goal with a superb strike from the edge of the circle. The staff were relieved to hear the final whistle and continue their winning run and it was great to see such fantastic sportsmanship from both teams with lots of handshakes, cheers and with money being popped into the collecting tin, from students, parents and even some former students, who had come in to support.

“The shield is called the Barry McKay Shield, in honour of my dad, which I bought nine years ago when we first set up the event to have engraved each year with the current 1st XI girls hockey captain’s name, the final score of the match and then the winners each year. Staff remain unbeaten in nine years so we are doing well!”