A surprise pizza delivery and a box of treats from Camp Simcha brought a smile to the face of a 12-year-old patient from Leeds at Great Ormond Street Hospital (Gosh).
Amelia Beaton, who has a Swan (Syndrome Without A Name) condition, has been undergoing a gruelling treatment regime.
Mum Lisa, who is isolating with her at the hospital, also received a package of goodies from the charity, which supports children with serious illness and their families. She said the gifts and treats had been “a real boost” for them both.
Amelia is one of many children Camp Simcha is supporting in hospitals, through either direct involvement or its outreach programme.
During the pandemic, a number of those it helps have required a prolonged stay to receive essential treatment.
In addition to a range of bespoke practical and therapeutic services for those it supports, Camp Simcha has been sending in toys, DVDs, activity packs and specially-requested gifts for other children on the wards. Packs of hand creams and snack boxes have also been distributed to nurses and care teams.
Camp Simcha hospital co-ordinator Joanne Woolich reported “a really positive response from the hospitals, who very much appreciate this kind of support at the moment to provide for both the children and the staff.
“Although the world is in the grip of this terrible pandemic, children are still being admitted to hospitals for urgent treatments and Camp Simcha is receiving the same number of referrals as it did prior to coronavirus.
“The difference now is that parents and children are having to navigate this around the Covid-19 emergency —and that is just terrifying and, at times, unbearable for them. In addition, many who would have been treated at their local hospitals are being diverted to Great Ormond Street.
“Most of the children who are spending prolonged periods in hospital can only have one parent with them and no other visitors. That is incredibly isolating for both the parent and child.”
Support which kept up the spirits of patients could make a huge difference to their wellbeing.
As well as Great Ormond Street, Camp Simcha has sent gifts to the Whittington, Royal London, Evelina, Manchester Children’s, Stanmore Orthopaedic, Barnet and Edgware hospitals.
Naomi Joseph, clinical lead for the paediatric therapies team at Barnet and Chase Lodge hospitals, said: “We were so delighted to receive a surprise delivery of cuddly monkeys, snack packs and a lovely poem of thanks from Camp Simcha.
“It made us feel particularly special knowing that we are appreciated for what we do. And receiving the gifts was a real lift for all the staff.’’