Indian Women’s Group Raises Funds For Young Hospital Patients

Young patients in Bradford’s hospitals have benefited from toys and specialist play equipment thanks to fantastic fundraising by the Indian Women’s Community UK group.

The community group presented a cheque for £2,500 raised for the Bradford Hospitals’ Charity Sparkle for Axl appeal. Members of the group have raised £6,004 in total for Sparkle for Axl over the past two years.

Bradford Hospitals’ Charity – the official NHS charity partner of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – holds its Sparkle for Axl appeal each Christmas in memory of little Axl Walker, who was a regular patient in Bradford Royal Infirmary’s children’s ward before he sadly died three days before his third birthday. The money raised is used to buy toys and specialist play equipment for young patients to help distract them from hospital treatment and put a smile on their face when they’re in hospital.

Bradford Hospitals’ Charity spends around £15,000 each year on toys, books, crafts and specialist play equipment for patients across Bradford Teaching Hospitals.

More toys than ever have been needed since the beginning of the pandemic, with children required to remain in their rooms during a hospital stay. Play specialists make up around 60 toy boxes each day for patients, all of which must be thoroughly cleaned after each use.

The Indian Women’s Community UK group was set up at the beginning of the pandemic to raise money for charities and public sector organisations most impacted by Covid-19. Members originally raised money to buy PPE for the NHS, before deciding to raise money for the Sparkle for Axl appeal. They have raised money online, with members meeting via Zoom.

Indu Dharni, chairperson for Indian Women’s Community UK, said:

We are overwhelmed with how much we have raised. It’s such a satisfying feeling to know that the money will be helping others. It is also very important to us that the money is going so close to home here in Bradford, to help children at Bradford Teaching Hospitals.

The group presented their cheque to Hayley Collis (Head of Fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity), and Claire Walker (Axl’s mum).

Hayley Collis said:

We’re overwhelmed by the generosity of the Indian Women’s Community UK group for raising such an impressive sum for our young patients.

You cannot underestimate the power of play for children and young people who are receiving treatment in hospital and in the community. The toys, games, books and crafts make the world of difference and help our children at what can be a very stressful time.

For more information about the Sparkle for Axl appeal, you can watch the appeal film at https://youtu.be/UhnTMIpHqBA

If you would like to know more about making a donation or fundraising, please call the Bradford Hospitals’ Charity team on 01274 274809 or email charity@bthft.nhs.uk