It’s been three years since The Entertainer switched on Pennies in their high-street stores and began collecting donations for children’s hospital charities. In that time, a remarkable £580,000 has been raised for six charities, from over 1.7 million consumer donations, money that has helped improve the hospital facilities available for children battling serious illness across the UK.
Take Bristol’s Royal Hospital for Children. The hospital’s fundraising charity, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, has benefited from Pennies donations made via The Entertainer since day one, with funds helping expand and improve the hospital’s cancer unit.
The importance of a safe, enjoyable environment for children to escape to during long stints in hospital can’t be understated, and these improvements have meant a huge amount to kids like 3 year old Jessica, who has been through four blocks of intensive treatment for leukaemia.
Though most of her treatment is done at home or as an outpatient, Jessica did have a short admission in the new Children’s Cancer Unit in December 2013. Martin and Melissa, Jessica’s parents, described the overall care Jessica received at the Bristol Children’s Hospital as excellent and said:
“We do appreciate that treating something like leukaemia is a very specialist and niche area, which is why it has been very reassuring living so close to the hospital and getting continuity of care at such a well-respected hospital. We have got to know some staff pretty well during our visits and the people there really do make a difference.”
During their time at the hospital, the family also took part in theGromit Unleashed trail, organised by The Grand Appeal to raise funds for the hospital, which provided a very welcome distraction and gave them something fun to do on the way to or from the hospital.
“Even when neither of us really felt like going out of our way it was so worth it as soon as the Gromit was spotted by one of the kids. It wasn’t just a talking point; the photos of our visits will stay with us forever. During that time Jess went through so many changes, losing her hair, losing weight, gaining weight but she always managed to smile for a Gromit.”
Rounding up your purchase to the nearest £1 next time you shop in The Entertainer might not seem like much, but your donations really do make a difference to the lives of children like Jessica, and her family. Find out where you can donate here.