ellenor’s Children’s Hospice Care team recently received a cheque for £10,862 to fund some vital sensory equipment which can be taken into children’s homes. The money was kindly donated by the Toy Trust – the charitable trust of The British Toy and Hobby Association - and delivered by Neil Marchant from Mattel UK, one of the members of the Association. Neil Marchant is a finance manager at Mattel and chairman of the company’s charity committee.
As well as handing over the cheque, Neil spent time at the charity’s Friday Fun Club – a respite service provided by ellenor in Dartford. He met a number of the children which ellenor supports and chatted with respite carers, hearing about how ellenor supports children in their own homes 24/7.
“It’s been amazing to meet the children and so lovely to be part of this and to learn about the great work ellenor does in Kent,” says Neil. “Everyone here is so warm, welcoming and friendly and it’s so apparent that they have the children’s welfare at the centre of their hearts.”
Staff at Mattel have been fundraising for the Toy Trust and Neil said that his colleagues will be ‘pleased to know about the great work ellenor is doing and that the money they helped to raise has gone to a great cause and to such a fantastic equipment’.
Many of the children ellenor cares for have severe physical and mental disabilities, with limitations of movement, hearing, vision, behavioural difficulties and/or pain, which affect their quality of life and their right to play. Specialist sensory play equipment and environments offer the opportunity for them to enjoy play and help them developmentally and socially. However this equipment is expensive and not always portable.
ellenor’s nursery nurses currently have one set of sensory equipment to share between them; they must take individual pieces of equipment to the child’s house and often this equipment is required by more than one child.
The very generous Toy Trust cheque will help to fund six ‘Sensory-in-a-Suitcase’ kits and six ‘Pop-up Pods’ – which can be easily transported and taken to children’s homes, as well as being utilised at Friday Fun Club.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Toy Trust and its members, including Mattel, for its very generous donation,” says Hazel South ellenor Head of Information and Development. “The new toys will be such a great asset for the development, stimulation and fun for the children.”