After recently running a vote with both Monarch employees and our customers, we are very happy to announce that the winning charity in the category of Children & Young People is Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH). Chris Carter from GOSH has kindly written this post to introduce this amazing charity and the work it does to make a difference in the life of countless children.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is the new charity partner of Monarch. GOSH is one of the top five paediatric research hospitals in the world, treating children from all over the UK with very complex and often life-threatening conditions.
GOSH has existed since 1852, becoming the first hospital in the UK looking specifically after children. Since it opened its doors with 10 beds, demand has increased so much that the hospital deals with over 255,000 patient visits every year. GOSH specialises in over 50 paediatric areas and because children are usually referred by other hospitals, GOSH is often a place of last resort.
There are 4 main areas that the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity funds in support of the hospital:
- Redevelopment – replacing & renovating existing buildings to make them equipped for the 21st century
- Equipment – purchasing & replacing life-saving equipment
- Research – funding research into new treatments and cures
- Family & patient support – ensuring the needs of the families & patients are looked after at their most vulnerable time
GOSH is a place where amazing things happen every day. Here are a couple of stories about people from the hospital.
Faiza – patient turned GOSH nurse
Faiza was a former GOSH patient, whose live was saved as a child when she was admitted with congenital heart disease.
She says she “grew up” in the hospital, where she twice underwent open-heart surgery as a child, and she fulfilled her lifelong dream when she walked on to Puffin Ward for her first shift as a healthcare assistant at the hospital.
When asked to reflect on her new job, she said: “This is a dream come true for me. People say home is where the heart is, but my heart is here. I just want to help other kids who are going through what I went through. To make them smile… and show them that everything is OK.”
GOSH patient Maddison talks living in isolation with astronaut in space
GOSH patient Maddison received the long distance call of a lifetime recently when British astronaut Tim Peake took time out of his day on board the International Space Station to speak to her in her isolation room at GOSH.
During the call, five-year-old Maddison, who is recovering after a bone marrow transplant to treat her acute lymphocytic leukaemia, discovered she and Tim had many similarities including being isolated from their families and needing restricted diets, but both for very different reasons.
She was keen to find out what Tim eats in space as she begins to try food for the first time in over a month. Mum explains: “Maddison has been in isolation at GOSH for five and a half weeks now and so she was very excited to speak to space from her room.
“She has just started on a special diet of milkshakes and packaged food after her treatment which she doesn’t like very much. Tim Peake must have to eat different foods and have protein shakes and so I’m hoping it will encourage her to drink them!”
The astronaut spoke to around 30 other patients who gathered in the hospital school and discussed how he spends his day carrying out scientific research, just like the pioneering research carried out at the hospital. Tim was also asked questions about how to stop things floating around on the space station, how he cleans his clothes, and what he misses about home. GOSH is unique in treating children with the rarest diseases who often have to spend long periods in hospital during their treatment, leading to them spending time away from home, friends and family.
GOSH can only carry out the amazing work it does thanks to the support of people and companies from across the UK. Thank you to Monarch for choosing to support GOSH!
If you want to find out more about the work of the hospital or how you can support, please get in touch.
Many thanks to Chris – we are very excited to kick off another year of fundraising and there will be plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, too! Keep your eyes peeled for all the fun initiatives coming your way.