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Children show their fundraising drive for NHS charity

28 Jan 2021 11:20:16
January fundraising

Youngsters have been showcasing their entrepreneurial spirit to fundraise for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity during lockdown.  

We know fundraising for charity is tough right now but Rotherham’s younger generation have proved to be a real inspiration.

Annabelle Hayden, of East Bawtry Road, kicked off 2021 in style by creating loom bands to sell for the charity. The thoughtful six-year-old, a pupil at Listerdale Junior Academy, also cleared out her toy box and set up a stall on her driveway. She raised £154.34 in four days. 

Annabelle’s mum, Michelle Hayden, said: “Annabelle came up with the idea to fundraise for the NHS herself. She was inspired in part by her auntie, Gemma Hayden, who works for The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust as a team leader for the Speech and Language Therapy Team but also because she’s very caring and wanted to do something which helped the NHS to care for others.

“We put a message on the Bawtry Road Facebook page and it took off from there. Her friends from school came by to support her and the whole community have been really generous. We watched from the living room window as people came along to take a toy or a bracelet and make a donation. We’re really proud of her.”

Residents in Whiston, Rotherham, were able to pick up a delicious hot chocolate while out on their daily walk thanks to step brothers and sisters Sofia and Leo Fry, aged eight and 10, and Abigail Gaffney, also eight, who attends St Marys RC School.  

The youngsters, of Hollowgate, Whiston, set up a stand on their driveway to sell the sweet treats, raising £270.34 on 24 January. 

Mum, Rachael Gaffney, said: “Sofia and Leo’s grandad sadly isn’t very well at the moment so they wanted to do something to thank the NHS for caring for him. They’ve recently shown a real interest in the amazing work of the NHS, clapping on Thursday’s and painting rainbows. They have been desperate to sell hot chocolate since the weather turned cold. 

“The community have been absolutely fantastic supporting their fundraising – thank you to everyone who stopped by for a socially distanced chat. They sold 60 cups in a day and I’m sure they made lots of people smile too.”

Youngsters at Wingfield Academy in Rotherham also raised £407.60 for the charity’s Dr Ted children’s appeal after donating £1 to wear their trainers to school. The children were raising funds for a volunteering trip to Kenya, but were sadly unable to go. They decided to donate the funds they had raised to their local NHS charity instead. 

Headteacher Phil Davis said: “During these challenging times we are very pleased to support this amazing local charity. Our students have been committed to supporting other young people around the borough despite the national pandemic. We will continue to do our utmost to ensure the most vulnerable children get the support they need.”

All the money raised will help to boost the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity, which raises funds to provide the added extras which really make a difference to patients, their families and carers, and which the NHS would ordinarily not be able to afford.

Martin Havenhand, Chairman of the Trust, added: “We love to see people of all ages getting involved in fundraising for the charity. It is particularly impressive when we see youngsters with a real flare for fundraising doing something creative to support the NHS. Well done to Annabelle, Sofia, Leo, Abigail and everyone at Wingfield Academy. We hope they have inspired others to fundraise for the charity in future.”

For more information about how to get involved in fundraising for the charity this year, please contact Suzanne Rutter, Charity Engagement and Development Manager, on 01709 426821 or trft.charity@nhs.net. Check out the Trust’s website for more virtual fundraising challenges - http://www.therotherhamft.nhs.uk/Fundraising/Virtual_Fundraising/