Northern Lights: Thank you, your support over the festive season is much appreciated
There are always lots of exciting things going on for us, but the festive season is when it really ramps up, and I’d like to tell you about all the ways you can get involved and support #TeamTheo this December.
For many, Christmas is a time for giving, however, we understand that the cost of living crisis continues to affect people across the UK. According to recent research from the Charities Aid Foundation, 55% of the public stated that their financial situation makes it harder to donate, but I hope that you’ll still consider supporting us. Even the smallest of gestures makes a huge difference to children, young people and their families at Sheffield Children’s.
First up is Glow in the Park, one of our calendar’s staples and one of the Charity Team’s favourite events of the year. It’s a fun-filled, family-friendly festive 5k around Endcliffe Park, taking place on Tuesday 12th December, that sees our amazing supporters don festive outfits, adorned with neon accessories. Think Christmas jumpers and Santa hats, combined with luminous tutus and glow sticks.
Since it began six years ago, the event has raised over £135,000 for Sheffield Children’s. Last year, the weather had other plans for us, and we were forced to cancel due to thick ice on the pavements around the park. We were really disappointed, but it has made us more determined than ever to make this year even bigger and better.
And did you know you get a free hot chocolate at the end?! Just another great reason to sign-up at tchc.org.uk/glow.
Another way to support us is through our snowflake appeal. Our much-loved display shined for the first time back in 2004 and has now raised more than £2.2million for Sheffield Children’s.
Our twinkling snowflakes light up numerous sites across South Yorkshire, including Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Ryegate Children’s Centre and the Becton Centre for Children and Young People, Sheffield City Hall, Crystal Peaks, St John’s Church Owlerton, the Alhambra Shopping Centre in Barnsley, The Centre in Brinsworth and the Homes-by-Holmes building in Chesterfield.
As well as the incredible amount generated every year through sponsorship, I’m always amazed by how our snowflakes have the capacity to bring our #TeamTheo community together. Every year, individuals, families, businesses, community groups, schools and more commit to sponsoring a snowflake and fundraising in lots of fun ways, including bake sales, Christmas market stalls and more – all to help build a better future for generations to come.
If you would like to sponsor a snowflake do get in touch with the team here at the Charity.
The festive fun continues on Friday 15th December with Theo’s Christmas Jumper Day, where we’re asking everyone far and wide to don their best knitted number for a full day. This is a really simple way to fundraise for us. Your school or workplace can get involved by signing up on our website at tchc.org.uk/christmasjumperday. Upon sign-up, a fundraising page will be created and all you have to do is donate £1-£2 to take part.
Don’t forget to share any photos with us on social media as we’d love to see them. Use the hashtag #TeamTheo.
All money raised from these fun, Christmas activities has an important purpose and will make a huge difference for our patients and families now, and in the future. It will help support four key areas, helping to improve the patient environment, fund innovative medical equipment, support paediatric research, as well as supporting our capital appeal for the National Centre for Child Health Technology (NCCHT).
The NCCHT is an exciting new project that will see a new building constructed at the Olympic Legacy Park where Sheffield Children’s will develop world-leading research and new technologies to solve the biggest challenges in children’s healthcare.
The Charity has committed to providing £2million towards the build so everything that you raise through these festive activities will help us get even closer to that goal.
As well as being a time for celebration, Christmas is also a time for reflection and I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the staff at Sheffield Children’s for the amazing work that they do, 365 days a year.
In 2022/23, more than 65,000 patients were seen in the Emergency Department, 10,214 inpatients were admitted to the wards at Sheffield Children’s, staying for a total of 42,483 nights, and patients travelled as far as 100 miles to Sheffield Children’s Sleep Team for specialist treatment.
Did you also know that the Sheffield Children’s respite centre, Ryegate House, accommodated 895 overnight stays to help children with neurodevelopmental disorders; the Embrace transport service completed 1,908 patient transfers across Yorkshire and the Humber and beyond, and the Mental Health Support Teams work with 50 schools in and around Sheffield to provide children and young people with early intervention and preventative mental health support?
Additionally, there were 341 active research studies run in our Clinical Research Facility, with sponsors from across Europe and as far as the USA.
Some incredible stats! The staff at Sheffield Children’s truly deserve our heartfelt appreciation for all the work they do, caring for children locally, nationally and internationally. I know the whole Charity Team is constantly in awe of them and will continue to do everything they can to support them.
Your support over the festive season is much appreciated – thank you from me and everyone in the Charity Team.