Hospital staff going the extra miles for poorly children

The Oxford Times: Left to right, Sue Emsden, Emily Wright, Gabrielle Dent, Tim Gustafson, Ella Hughes and Caron Houchen Picture: OX64860 Damian Halliwell Buy this photo » Left to right, Sue Emsden, Emily Wright, Gabrielle Dent, Tim Gustafson, Ella Hughes and Caron Houchen Picture: OX64860 Damian Halliwell

STAFF working in the surgical ward of the Oxford Children’s Hospital give their all to care for extremely poorly children every day.

And to go the extra mile a team from Tom’s Ward of the Headington hospital are putting their best feet forward to take on the OX5 Run on March 30.

The nurses, support workers, hospital teachers and clinical co-ordinator have signed up to the five-mile charity run in the grounds of Blenheim Palace to raise money for the hospital where they work.

The run, which is organised by the Oxford Mail and sponsored by Allen Associates, is the hospital’s biggest annual fundraiser.

Clinical support worker Emily Wright, 30, from Marston, said: “It is quite a tough ward to work on because some of the children are very poorly, but when it is a positive outcome it is really nice to see them go home so it goes both ways.

“Everyone helps try to make the ward a happier place for children to be even though they have to go through operations.

“You don’t realise before, it’s since working on the ward that I’ve realised the things the children and parents go through.

“Seeing it first hand really makes you appreciate what they go through.”

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Miss Wright, who has worked in the ward for one and a half years, helps feed the babies and looks after the children as a clinical support worker.

The mum-of-two set up the team including staff nurse Ella Hughes, teaching assistant Sue Emsden, teacher Caron Houchen, staff nurse Amy Pearson, clinical support worker Sylvia Mutton, staff nurse Gabrielle Dent, and clinical governance co-ordinator Tim Gustafson.

Tom’s ward was named after Tom Waley-Cohen who died from cancer aged 20.

The team have already raised more than £160 with two months to go.

So far more than 400 people have signed up to the run.

Oxford Children’s Hospital spokesman Sarah Vaccari said: “It is lovely to see that our dedicated Children’s Hospital staff are willing– quite literally – to go the extra mile by taking part in our fun run.

“Last year’s event raised an incredible £98,000 for the hospital and has funded important medical equipment as well as items to make life that little bit easier for our young patients.

“We are hoping that with the support of our local community, we can raise just as much for the hospital this March, so please sign up.”

The run, which starts at 10.30am, costs £10 to enter and runners are asked to aim to raise a minimum of £100.

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