When a child is born with a rare developmental disorder, making sure they receive the expert care they require is vital. However, when that child also becomes seriously ill, finding the specialist, quality care they desperately need can be a real challenge.
Archie Jones was diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay as a baby, but just a few years later he was also diagnosed with Swine Flu, worsening his symptoms dramatically in a very short period of time. At this point, Archie’s family made their first trip to Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
Due to the nature of his very specific and unusual set of circumstances, Archie, now 5, has lots of critical problems. He has visited and stayed on a number of different wards and been treated by many different specialists during his time at Alder Hey. He has problems with his bowels, bladder, kidneys, bones and blood to name but a few.
Part of his specialised care includes regular music therapy sessions funded by the Alder Hey Children’s Charity, and in turn by the money the charity receives thanks to Pennies donations in branches of The Entertainer up and down the country.
In just over two years, customers shopping at The Entertainer toyshops have raised nearly £62,000 a few pence at a time for the charity, simply by donating their electronic change when playing by card in store. This money helps the staff at Alder Hey to improve the quality of life of patients like Archie every day.
For Archie, taking part in the arts and play programme is tremendously valuable. Archie’s music therapist, Mel, comes to visit him once a week. Not only does Archie love the lessons, but as he can’t speak, he has also learned a new way to communicate.
“The relationship he has built with Mel through them playing and listening to music together is fantastic”, Archie’s mum Jackie said. “They have a special way of communicating and he has really come on leaps and bounds since she has started spending time with him.”
Well over £300,000 has been raised in total through The Entertainer toyshops in the past two years supporting not only young patients at Alder Hey but also three other Children’s Hospitals across the country and making an impact to the lives of kids like Archie with just a push of a button.