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Gold Dust Appeal celebrates success with a ‘See the Difference’ party

alt alt alt alt The Gold Dust Appeal hosted a ‘See the Difference’ party on level 12 of Derriford Hospital yesterday.   

The Gold Dust Appeal raised a staggering £125,000 to refurbish the level 12 concourse and Children’s Wards.  The appeal was launched in late 2015 and was supported by people from around the community. Thanks to the dedication and generosity of supporters; Gold Dust hit its target ahead of plan.alt

Individuals, businesses and community groups from across the area showed fantastic support for the Gold Dust Appeal. They were invited into the hospital yesterday to see the difference they have made.

The concourse and wards have been transformed, creating a colourful, welcoming area for children and young people at Derriford Hospital. The theme for the Gold Dust project was ‘bringing the outside in’.

“The Gold Dust Appeal has meant we have completely refurbished our children’s areas”, said Anita Dykes, Matron for Children’s Services and NICU. “We have done it by involving young people and asking their views about what they want in their area of the hospital.

“We listened to them and it became obvious that when they’re in the hospital the thing they miss most the outdoors and being outside.

“Working with a local design company, Bluestone 360, we used the areas of outstanding natural beauty surrounding Plymouth and the beauty of nature generally as our inspiration and as our starting point.”

The bland, clinical looking corridor has now been transformed in to a bright welcoming area with lots of colour, fun images and child friendly way-finding. Whichever way you arrive on level 12, you are welcomed to the department by our fun, friendly characters.

On the wards, the theme continues, providing a more comfortable, relaxed environment for patients and their families. 15 year old Poppy Lee Rodgers spends a lot of time in hospital having treatment for cystic fibrosis and type 1 diabetes.

“Out of every 12 weeks, Poppy spends three and half in hospital having intravenous medicine and intense physio,” said Poppy’s Mum, Kirsty Burgess.

“The change is unbelievable. The wards are now bright, welcoming, fun and less intimidating. It feels more like a bedroom for Poppy than being in hospital.”

In the waiting area, there is a ‘magic mirror’ games console which projects interactive images and games and there is also a mobile unit which can be used in patients rooms to ensure that less mobile patients don’t miss out on the fun.

Along with the magic mirror, there is also a ‘magic carpet’ in the concourse leading to the Children’s Wards which has over 500 games to choose from.

“Before I would hear children moaning as their parents led them to their appointments in the hospital,” said Anita.

“Now I hear them begging their parents not to leave, because they just want to play with the interactive technology a little bit longer. If anything sums up the difference Gold Dust has made, it’s that.

“Our ward for older children and teenagers is different from our play room and areas for younger children – but there is a theme which runs through.

“We now have 90 interactive games children can play from their beds and we hope you will agree that level 12 of Derriford Hospital now looks more like a children’s hospital – modern, colourful fun and in places, a bit cheeky and funny. That’s what our younger patients told us they wanted.

“None of this would be possible, however, without the support of so many people – from our donors and individual supporters, to those people behind the scenes such as our fundraiser and Communications Team. There was so much warm support for the Appeal and it was a great feeling when we reached and then exceeded our target.

“To everyone who skydived, ran, baked cakes, sold toys or put a pound in the collection tin – a massive thank you. We hope that you can see today the real difference that you’ve helped make.”

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