With the Albion As One fund having raised more than £370,000 since it was launched by the club’s Premier League squad, donations are now beginning to make a real difference to local people.
Among those charities we are supporting is Rockinghorse, a Brighton-based charity that has been supporting children in Sussex for over 50 years. The charity was set up in 1967 by Dr Trevor Mann, who recognised there was a real need for additional resources to improve healthcare services for sick children and babies.
Rockinghorse aim is to improve the lives of sick children throughout Sussex. They are best-known as the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton. They also provide vital support to the neighbouring Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) and its sister site, the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) based within the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. In addition, they support paediatric wards in hospitals across Sussex, specialist neonatal units, respite centres and children’s services in the county.
Rockinghorse fundraise to provide life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment, additional services and items to ensure that young people are treated in an environment better suited to their needs. They believe no matter where they are, children should always be allowed to be children. The charity doesn’t receive any government funding and relies on the generous support of individuals, community groups, schools, companies and trusts.
The donation from Albion As One will go towards several projects that are directly related to supporting sick children and young people affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
This includes funding for individual bedside paediatric stethoscopes, a frequently used piece of equipment in the Critical Care Unit for children with respiratory conditions. They are uniquely designed for smaller anatomy, have a non-chill rim which helps not to startle patients and specially shaped earbuds so doctors can hear chest, heart and bowel sounds more accurately. These will be kept by individual bedsides reducing the chance of cross-infection, especially important with the current infection.
The donation will also help to fund a portable lung function machine which enables the accurate diagnosis and continued measurement of lung function in children with conditions such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. Due to its portability and child friendly interface it’s a great resource for medical staff to be able to provide uniform, high-quality care in wards, outpatient clinics and urgent clinical reviews, even when the patients are off-site from the Royal Alex.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Alex are having to use bed-spaces that they may not ordinarily have to use. They are also using more space than they would normally for sick children which means that there is little or no space for parents to be able to stay with their children. So, Rockinghorse want to fund the purchase of 12 camp beds for the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, so parents are able to stay with their children during their hospital stay.
Chalkhill Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit in Haywards Heath is the only in-patient mental health unit for children and young people in Sussex. Rockinghorse usually help fund an activities programme at the hospital but due to the pandemic, this has been severely scaled back as it isn’t possible to have visitors into the unit, even family members. This is having a devastating effect on the health and wellbeing of the young people so this donation will help fund a range of equipment such as iPads and tablets, personal DVD players, digital radios, are materials, sports and gardening equipment to help the young people during their isolation.
And finally, Rockinghorse will be helping to fund a ground-breaking research project into COVID-19 in paediatrics, particularly teenagers, to help understand the spread of the pandemic and determine how the virus is spread from younger people who may be asymptomatic.