15 December 2020
This year cadets and staff from 13 Company, Greater London South West Sector Army Cadet Force undertook a massive initiative to support 2 local paediatric wards whose patients who will be spending time in hospital over the Christmas period. The aim was to provide a welcome distraction to patients spending time in hospital and of the current situation, and also provide a little cheer to staff who have done so much for patients during the pandemic.
The initiative itself looked to provide gifts to two hospital trusts in South London, St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Tooting, located close to three of our Detachments and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Denmark Hill, where members of our company work.
Due to the lockdown put in place in November the initiative had to be adapted from gift donations as we were unable to meet in person to collect gifts, we did manage to receive a huge amount of gifts delivered from donations collected by our amazing staff and wider ACF family. In addition we also raised over £1,000 donated by cadets, parents, friends, family, work colleagues, our followers on social media, our staff and the wider military commuinty. The effort and generosity of everyone helped us to purchase even more gifts meaning we ended up with well over 100 presents to be donated between the hospitals.
On Friday 11 December the Company Commander, Capt Lorimer, Training Sergeant Major, SMI Notridge and the 135 Detachment Commander, SSI Reynolds met with the Mayor of Wandsworth, Councillor Jane Cooper, who wanted to congratulate the company on the success of the Christmas Appeal and give thanks to our supporters, before we travelled between the hospitals.
The donations were distributed with all gifts donated and purchased using some the donated money being delivered to Kings College Hospital and were welcomed by members of the executive nursing team and paediatric nursing team, Jane Ambrose from the Health Play team and Jo Haworth Deputy Chief Nurse as well as some of staff from the Thomas Cook Critical Care Centre which helped in the organisation of the delivery.
Of the money raised £600 was used to purchase gifts for patients at St George’s Hospital via the St George’s Charity and members of the Company met with the CEO of St George's Charity. The gifts purchased via the charity will see children and younger adults with gifts during their inpatient stay. The 13 Company representatives were met by Sabrina Gibbins Radiology Admin Manager who is also the Sector Regimental Sgt Major and member of the play specialist team on behalf of the St George’s Charity.
This year’s pandemic was definitely been something that no one could ever have thought would happen but even with both suspensions of training for the majority of the year it is great to see so many of our cadets and staff support this amazing initiative.
Story from Captain Lorimer - 13 Company SW London ACF