Thirteen young people from across Somerset have been baking cakes and busking in the streets, raising money to make the paediatric room at Bridgwater Hospital’s Minor Injury Unit (MIU) more fun and colourful for visiting children.
The group of teenagers were taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS), a 4-week programme of activities and workshops aimed at building important life skills, run by Young Somerset. As part of the programme, the group were asked to choose a Social Action Project – something that would benefit their local community. They unanimously decided that they wanted to redecorate the room in MIU, making it more child-friendly.
Through bag packing, car washing, and organising a fundraising day on Bridgwater High Street, the group were able to raise £560 to donate to the hospital for the redecoration costs. The group also donated pieces of artwork, which they created for the new room.
Sarah Howe, NCS Engagement Officer at Young Somerset, said: “During the NCS programme, the team were passionate about making a difference in the community and felt raising money for the hospital was a great way to do this. The team were all local to Bridgwater and felt the hospital was a cause they could all relate to, and wanted to support. They should be incredibly proud of their achievements and since have all graduated from the programme.”
Chris and Evelyn, two of the students involved in the group, added: “Completing NCS was a new experience for us. We were out of our comfort zone, but we’re glad to have completed it. We had full control over our project, and we all had a real sense of achievement when we raised so much money in such a short space of time.”
Mike Paynter, Consultant Nurse in Urgent Care & Minor Injury Services at Bridgwater Hospital, was overwhelmed by the generosity of the youngsters. He said: “Each day we treat over 30 children in our MIU unit at Bridgwater Hospital. Thanks to the time and effort put in by this fabulous group of young people, children who need to visit us will now not only have a brighter, more engaging room to spend their time in, but toys and books for them to use as well.
“We are all incredibly grateful for this wonderful donation, and look forward to creating a happy space for children to use during their visit.”
The MIU at Bridgwater Hospital looks after a range of non-life threatening minor illnesses and injuries, including common infections, broken bones, sprains and strains. The paediatric room is used primarily for children under 12 years old, allowing them to be assessed and treated where possible in a more child-friendly environment.