Massive donation to children’s day unit

Posted on in Fundraising, Hospitals, Services, The trust

Richard and Tracy Clarke have handed over another fantastic amount of £50,000 to help with the refurbishment of the children’s day unit at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

The ultra-dedicated pair from Coulby Newham, have raised over £300,000 though their registered charity, Abbie’s Love, for epilepsy research and supporting children with the condition.

The Clarke family hand over the cheque for £50,000

Richard Clarke hands over the cheque for £50,000 to Jane Wiles, head of nursing for paediatrics and neonates at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, surrounded by family and nursing staff.

Since the tragic loss of their only child Abbie, in December 2006, Richard and Tracy have now donated over £135,000 for the benefit of young patients at the hospital contributing towards research, specialist beds for children with epilepsy and high tech equipment to perform EEG investigations. A child-friendly examination room has also been developed within the neurosciences investigations area in memory of Abbie at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

This latest bumper amount – handed over on national epilepsy awareness day – is a staggering amount and under the supervision of directorate manager for children and neonatal services Yasmin Scott, the funds will help to radically modify the unit.

Clinical matron for paediatrics and neonates Cathy Brammer, is overwhelmed by the couple’s generosity. She said: “Richard and Tracy have worked so hard over the last nine years to fundraise for local children with epilepsy and other neurological disorders. Their charity was set up in memory of their beautiful daughter Abbie, and it is amazing how, following such a sad and painful event, they have been able to channel their energy into creating a legacy in Abbie’s memory that has benefited so many children and families. This latest donation far exceeds anything we could have expected and we are so grateful to everyone at the charity for everything they are doing for the children’s unit.”

Richard Clarke added: “After a meeting with Cathy Brammer about the upgrades to the children’s day unit, Tracy, myself and the charity decided that we would love to be part of a this upgrade.

“As most people will know, we help children and young people with epilepsy usually on a one-to-one basis but being involved in this upgrade will mean all the money that we have raised in Teesside will be benefiting not only children with epilepsy but every child in the area that will use the children’s day unit.

“For this reason we are very happy to make this donation, especially to somebody that is as motivated and dedicated to the ward as Cathy and her team. We know it will be a great project to be a part of. “

The money is being used to modernise the children’s ward and the managing director of women and children centre for the trust, Fran Toller said: “We are overwhelmed by the consistent and continuous efforts of Richard, Tracy, their family and friends in fundraising to benefit children in the area.

“This donation will make a significant improvement to the children’s day unit at The James Cook University Hospital that is used by many children accessing services. We can never thank them enough for their tireless effort in raising money in particular this huge donation all in memory of their precious daughter Abbie. She and her parents will certainly never be forgotten by us. Thank you!”