Grateful parents show thanks with treats for Sheffield Children's Hospital staff

Sarah Birch (right) and daughter Annie present gifts to Sheffield Children's Hospital staff Jo Reid-Roberts and Emma Harding to say thanks for their care (Andrew Roe)
Sarah Birch (right) and daughter Annie present gifts to Sheffield Children's Hospital staff Jo Reid-Roberts and Emma Harding to say thanks for their care (Andrew Roe)
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Grateful parents are this week showing their gratitude to Sheffield Children's Hospital by providing a 'Week of Treats' for the 'brilliant' staff working there.

Mums and dads whose youngsters have been treated at the hospital are heading down to the M2 ward throughout the week with gifts ranging from cupcakes to cosmetics as a thank you to hard-working NHS employees.

The heartwarming gesture is the brainchild of Sheffield charity Forging Families, which was set up last year to support new and expectant parents across the city by providing advice from other parents.

The charity has previously organised similar presentations to staff on the Jessop Wing and at the A&E department in the Northern General Hospital.

Sarah Birch, whose eight-month-old daughter Annie earlier this month spent a week on the M2 ward with a kidney condition, kicked off the gift-giving today by handing a food hamper to staff who cared for the youngster.

Sarah, who has two other children and lives with her husband Ashley in Hillsborough, said she wanted to do something for the 'amazing' staff at the hospital.

"I took Annie to the GP last Monday morning because she hadn't been herself all week, and she was referred to the children's hospital," said the 31-year-old.

"We were there from last Monday until last Friday and everyone who looked after her during that time was absolutely brilliant.

"The nurses, doctors and domestic staff were all amazing. One of the domestic staff even came over to give me a cup of tea and a hug. Little things like that make such a difference when you're in hospital worrying about your child."

Mrs Birch added that Annie had been diagnosed with the condition bilateral VUR, otherwise known as kidney reflux, which she would require future treatment to manage.

She said other visitors between Tuesday and Sunday, including Forging Families founder Rachel Gardner, planned to deliver gifts including toiletries and confectionery.

The charity is still seeking someone to head down with treats on Thursday. If you think you could be that person, or you want to arrange gifts for NHS staff elsewhere in the city, you can get in touch via the Forging Families page on Facebook.

Jo Reid-Roberts, M2 ward manager at Sheffield Children's Hospital, said: "This is such a kind thing for Annie's mum to have done. To come home from a hospital stay and then arrange this week of treats is so considerate. It will be a lovely boost for our team, and on behalf of us all, we'd like to say thank you for this act of generosity!"

Forging Families was set up in February last year to improve maternity services in Sheffield, particularly when it comes to support for parents experiencing mental health issues, by working with families in the city.

Its work during the last year has included producing guides for new mums and dads, written by those who have already started families, with useful information to help them adjust to life as parents.