Parachuting paramedics are taking a big leap for children’s unit

Daring NHS staff are set to “jump for joy” to raise funds to support Croydon Health Charity’s £150,000 Power of Play appeal.

Jumping for a cause: the NHS staff are hoping to raise thousands of pounds with their venture

The appeal will support the development of fun-filled playgrounds, interactive play zones, toys and relaxation rooms within the new state of the art children’s care unit that will soon open at Mayday, Croydon University Hospital.

The team of NHS workers includes paediatric doctors, nurses and staff from non-clinical roles, who will take on the 15,000-foot jump on Saturday April 30.

Vicki Cunningham, a programme manager and the driving force behind the skydive, said, “We’re all passionate about creating a children’s unit that offers the best possible environment to help support their recovery. As well as providing general medical care, our amazing clinical teams will for the first time be providing critical care and cancer care to young people living in Croydon, so we want to create a space that makes them feel as happy and relaxed as possible.

“Our fundraising will help to build fun, therapeutic play spaces for young people to alleviate the fear that many children experience as a result of coming into hospital.

“We’re hoping to overcome our own fears and hopefully have some fun at the same time with this skydive, and we’d love as many people as possible to support the cause.”

Almost 52,000 young people require medical care in Croydon every year, some of whom are required to spend weeks away from home as they undergo lifesaving treatment.

Alongside the Power of Play appeal, the unit is being partly funded by Chartwell Cancer Trust, who are raising £750,000 towards a dedicated children’s cancer facility, to allow young people living with cancer to be treated closer to home.

High flyers: some of the hospital staff who are taking part in the charity skydive

Elaine Clancy, Chief Nurse at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said, “NHS staff continually go the extra mile for patients and this time our teams are going thousands of extra feet – in the air! – to ensure young people have the best possible care in Croydon.

“Having a child in hospital can take a real emotional toll on loved ones and we’re keen to offer all the support we can to our patients and their relatives, whether that’s through a relaxing space for parents or through fun and engaging play zones for children, to offer a welcome distraction from the stresses that a hospital stay can bring.

“These fantastic facilities will give children the chance to experience normality, fun and play away from a clinical setting.”

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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