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Appeal launched to improve area for children who receive cancer treatment

Michelle Bannister in the Penguin Unit

A fundraising appeal has been launched to help transform the children’s oncology day unit at Basildon Hospital to provide a comforting and calming space for children who are receiving vital cancer treatment.

Known as the Penguin Day Unit, it will deliver blood transfusions and chemotherapy to young patients.

The unit is already open, but is in need of a child-friendly make-over to transform the space into a more welcoming one for youngsters visiting hospital for their five hour blood transfusions.

A total of £15,000 is needed to help fund furniture, child-friendly drip stands, wall stickers, LED sensory lighting, iPads and DVD players to occupy children and keep them entertained while they receive their transfusions. 

Michelle Bannister, Paediatric oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist at Basildon Hospital, said they wanted to brighten up the area and make it more cheerful, and less clinical looking.

She said: “At the moment, it isn’t very welcoming looking. It can be really daunting coming to hospital for children, so developing this dedicated area that looks less clinical will help make it a more relaxed and calming environment for both children and their families. It’s an area they will be spending a lot of time in, so we want to make it as a nice a one as possible for them.”

There are also plans to put an Arctic-themed mural on the wall, where children will be able to personalise by painting their own penguins when they visit.

Suzanne Reynolds, Paediatric Matron at Basildon Hospital, added: "We hope that with kind donations we can also purchase some new toys and entertainment to help distract children when having procedures such as blood transfusions and chemotherapy, along with making the area bright and cheerful."

For anyone who would like further information or to donate please contact the Community  fundraising team on 01702 385337 or email msecharity@southend.nhs.uk

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