A generous donation by a local trade association has made it possible to buy two children’s vein finding machines for use in the A&E department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
Huntingdon based British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA), the trade association representing metals recyclers, following a member of staff experiencing paediatric services at the hospital, picked Dreamdrops, to raise funds for 2 vein machines, the AcuVein AV500, cut the stress that children face when a cannula needs to be inserted, as it makes it easy to locate even the tiniest of veins.
Susie Burrage, President of the BMRA, after meeting Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chair of Dreamdrops, and learning of about Dreamdrops’ fundraising efforts, asked that the money be used for the vein machines, with any remaining monies being split three ways between Holly Ward, SCBU, and the community team.
The money raised was from the proceeds of raffles and auctions that were held during 2019 at two BMRA member events; a Golf Day held in June and the Annual Dinner in November.
Ms Burrage said: “I was keen to select a local cause as one of my President’s charities for the BMRA’s centenary year. Knowing the tremendous work the children’s facilities at Hinchingbrooke Hospital do, Dreamdrops was a worthy recipient. Through our members giving generously by supporting our raffles and auctions, Dreamdrops has been able to purchase Hinchingbrooke Hospital two AcuVein AV500s. I know personally that these machines will help the staff enormously to treat young children.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said “We are thrilled to bits to receive such a generous donation from The British Metals Recycling Association as this ‘cutting edge’ equipment will be invaluable to assist staff who are caring for children in A and E who require cannulation. It is extremely difficult to locate veins, particularly in very small children, and having the benefit of an Acuvein to help, will make a significant difference to the experience of young patients receiving treatment.
Local sheltered housing scheme raises £500 for dreamdrops children’s charity
Kind hearted residents from Broad Leas Court, a sheltered housing scheme in St Ives, have raised £500 for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity, ‘dreamdrops.’
The money was raised through events organised by residents including making or donating stuffed toys, donating prizes for a monthly raffle and a Bring and Buy sale.
Suzanne Milham, one of the residents said: “We decided to raise the money for dreamdrops because we wanted a local children’s charity to benefit from our fundraising and we know the charity provide wonderful support to children and their families in the area.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops said: “To raise so much money for dreamdrops represents a fantastic effort from everyone involved. We cannot thank the residents enough for their kindness and the money raised will go towards making the lives of the children we care for that little bit easier.”
Double celebrations at Hinchingbrooke Hospital Children’s Unit
Children who are anxious about a visit to the outpatients clinic at Hinchingbrooke Hospital now have a special ‘Calm Room’ in which to wait for their appointment, thanks to the Huntingdonshire Children’s Charity, Dreamdrops.
The new room, which is located in the Children’s outpatients waiting area, was unveiled on 26 September by Janet Woodward of local commercial printing firm, Just Digital. Funding for the structural alterations was supplied by donations from Mr and Mrs Spicer and their customers at the King of the Belgians Pub in Hartford, and employees at Just Digital have been fundraising to purchase the equipment for the Calm Room, which has been specially designed to distract and relax young patients.
The unveiling event also coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Sensory Garden at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which was also brought to life by Dreamdrops. To mark the milestone, Mayor of Huntingdon, Cllr Steve McAdam, unveiled a new plaque in the garden area. The garden is made up of beautiful flower beds, a water feature and a fun maze, which is wide enough for hospital beds and wheelchairs to navigate, and originally cost £30,000 to create.
Anne-Marie Hamilton said: “It is wonderful that we have been able to provide the Calm Room, which was the brainchild of Holly Ward manager, Sandie White and Matron, Sarah Hughes. For some children, the hustle and bustle of a busy outpatients waiting area is too much and therefore this room will help them feel comforted as they wait for their turn to see a doctor.
“It is just as wonderful to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Sensory Garden which, thanks to some very dedicated ‘dreamdrops’ volunteers, is well cared for all year round. The garden is a real oasis of calm which is designed to bring joy to young patients, their families and staff alike. We were very fortunate to be supported by the Rotary Club of St Neots and St Mary’s in creating the garden, and some of their members joined us for the anniversary celebrations too.
Rob Hughes, chairman of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital, added: “Dreamdrops’ support for children’s services in our hospital is fantastic and we are extremely grateful for the way Anne-Marie and her army of supporters are dedicated to improving the experience of our young patients and their families.”
Cherilyn Hoffman, from Cambridgeshire, ran the Milton Keynes Marathon on Monday 6 May in aid of the Special Care Baby Unit and Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital through the dreamdrops charity.
Cherilyn’s niece and nephew have both received life-saving treatment on the wards, and she wanted to do something in return for all their help and support.
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity, ‘dreamdrops’ said: “Cherilyn has raised an incredible amount of money for ‘dreamdrops’ and I am really impressed with her tremendous achievement.
“The money that she has raised will be used to provide the ‘extras’ which make life a little easier for children who are being nursed on Holly Ward and the Special Care Baby Unit. On their behalf, and on behalf of our charity, I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to Cherilyn for thinking of them and for her wonderful support.”
Local Infant School raises money for ‘dreamdrops’ children’s charity
Crosshall Infant School Academy Trust in St Neots has raised £800 for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity, ‘dreamdrops.’
This year dreamdrops is one of the charities chosen by the families, at Crosshall Infant School Academy Trust, who have benefitted greatly from their support.
Mrs Skinner, mother to Charlie said: ”dreamdrops provided us with a much needed family ‘time-out’ fun activity afternoon.”
The school held an open day on the 3 April inviting all the parents and grandparents along to the school where they collected their children from their classroom, who then took them on a tour of the school finishing in the main hall.
There were refreshments together with a number of stalls, raffles and games for everyone to participate in.
The school said: “This was a lovely, exciting event that not only raised valuable funds for community charities but also enabled our children to share their school with their families. We are really grateful for everyone’s support of the event.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops said: “We cannot thank the children, their families and the school enough for this wonderful donation. The money raised will be put towards helping sick children who are being cared for at home or in the community, making life a little easier, when it can be at its most stressful.”
For further information on how you can help raise funds for the charity please visit www.dreamdropschildrenscharity.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo L to R: Josh, Charlie, Martha and Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops.
Mission Complete for dreamdrops fundraiser
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity ‘dreamdrops’ has received an amazing donation of £720 for the Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
Sally Burgess, 38, from St Ives took part in 3 major challenges to raise money for our dreamdrops charity. Sally completed her 100 length swim in July; the mammoth challenge of climbing Snowdon, by herself, in less than 3 hours in May and completed the Great Eastern Run half marathon in October.
Sally said: “I decided to take on the three challenges after my son, Malcolm, was taken seriously ill in December 2017 with suspected Meningococcal Septicaemia. He received excellent care on Holly Ward and also received further care at home after leaving hospital.
“I wanted to give something back. He was 2 years old at the time. He is now 3, in good health, and is really enjoying preschool. We cannot thank the team enough for their help and support.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops said: “Once again we are indebted to Sally for her amazing fundraising efforts for dreamdrops.
“It’s hard enough running at any time, but when you have the horrendous conditions at the Great Eastern Run; it must have given Sally a great sense of achievement to finish her final challenge, still smiling in spite of all the rain!
“The money raised will be used to go towards some new comfortable armchairs for the parents to use on Holly Ward. This will make a huge difference to both the parents and children on the ward; we cannot thank Sally enough for her continued dedication.”
Sally and her son Malcolm with Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops
Sally after the Great Eastern Run.
A huge thank you to Pravin Jethwa, Sales Director from Amazing Interactives who visited staff at Hinchingbrooke Hospital to demonstrate our new 3D pain distraction glasses. The glasses are being used by children in the hospital, and also in the community, when they are being nursed at home by the Community Nursing Team. The glasses help to distract the children whilst they are receiving their treatment. The money was raised by Davey Grover Accountants through the #CCSdreamdrops charity.
A huge thank you to VIP-Polymers for their continuing support.
In lieu of sending out Christmas cards to customers and suppliers at Christmas, VIP made a £100 donation to dreamdrops.
The charity are currently fundraising to provide a ‘Calm Room’ in the Children’s Outpatients Reception, a portable 3D Pain Distraction Unit for children admitted to A&E as well as other items including toys and books to be used within the wards and for nursing in the community.
A spokesperson for VIP said: “We are committed to supporting and developing the local community and Dreamdrops is a local charity that makes a real difference to children’s lives at a time when they need it most.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Dreamdrops Chairman said “It really is so kind of everyone at VIP-Polymers to think of us again, this year. Thank you all very much. Being supported in this way by a local company means a great deal to us.”
Christmas Craft Fair raises money for Holly Ward and the Specialist Care Baby Unit
The Bridge Church in St Ives have raised £343.90 for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity, ‘dreamdrops.’
The money was raised by people paying an entry fee and a donation from this went to the charity. The stallholders also donated money from their takings. The stalls included crocheted items, cupcakes, Christmas crafts and much more.
Becky Richards, who organised the craft fair said: “We wanted to support a local charity and a number of children who are part of our church family have benefitted from the great work that dreamdrops does with Holly Ward and the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
“We feel it’s a privilege to have children with additional needs in our church and believe they should be given as much support as possible.”
Helen Carlson’s son William has been a regular on Holly Ward since he was born 8 years ago. Helen said: “William has many complex medical needs and requires more hospital admissions and appointments than most people. We are so grateful to have a children’s ward as wonderful as Holly Ward so close by. The staff are all so friendly and caring and help to make stays there as easy on our family as possible.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the ‘dreamdrops’ fundraising committee said: “I would like to thank the members of The Bridge Church at St Ives for raising funds for ‘dreamdrops’ at their Christmas Fair. As it is Christmas time, we would like to put the money towards some new toys for the patients on Holly Ward and for the siblings of babies who are being nursed on the Special Care Baby Unit.”
Back row from left to right: Helen Carlson, Anne-Marie – Chairman of dreamdrops and Becky Richards.
Front row from left to right: Millie Higginson, William Carlson and Phoebe Higginson.
Artist of the Month
Local artist Terry Bolton, is Brampton Framing’s ‘Artist of the Month’. Terry is generously donating any funds raised from his picture sales to our charity ‘dreamdrops’ in aid of the Special Care Baby Unit. Terry’s has just had a little granddaughter who was born at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
If you would like to donate to this wonderful cause you can visit Terry’s Just Giving page at
“SCBU saved my brother’s life”
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity ‘dreamdrops’ received a donation of £100 for the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital along with £100 for the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge.
The money was raised by Ilaria Di Rita (aged 9) whose brother was cared for on the unit. Ilaria arranged for her class mates to meet at the park near Wheatfield’s School, in St Ives, where they did a sponsored danceathon and run to raise money for the unit. Ilaria said: “I wanted to raise money for the unit who work hard every day and who saved my brother’s life.”
Merinda Di Rita, Ilaira’s mother said: “Luigino was extremely poorly when born. He had to have an emergency blood transfusion and was then rushed to the Rosie and put onto a life support machine. We were told after my C section that we only had around an hour to have him delivered otherwise it would have been a very different story.
“That night we had consultants working on Luigino giving him blood transfusions. They worked quickly and ultimately because of this they saved his life.”
Dr Nik Johnson, Consultant Paediatrician said: “We provide a high quality of care to all the children on the unit, and we are delighted to hear how well Luigino is progressing. We are extremely grateful to Ilaria for raising this money which will greatly benefit the children in our care.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of Dreamdrops said: “A huge thank you to Ilaria and her friends and what a wonderful way to raise money for the Special Care Baby Unit. The money raised will be used to purchase baby massage mats. The unit offers mums and their babies the opportunity to come back to a massage class to help with their bonding and attachment. These will help to make the experience of baby massage much more comfortable.”
For more information about our charity dreamdrops please visit:
Fantastic achievements raise £1,500 for local children’s ward
In Spring 2017 Jonathan Smith, from St Neots, started a 100 mile coastal trek from Hunstanton to Lowestoft, the most easterly point in Great Britain. Jonathan’s epic walk was to raise money for the dreamdrops charity and Holly children’s ward run by Cambridgeshire Community Service NHS Trust.
Jonthan’s son was taken very ill after two weeks of having an everyday cold, followed by sinusitis. Jonathan said: “My son was diagnosed with orbital cellulitis putting him at high risk of blood poisoning, losing his eye or hearing or, even worse, meningitis.
“After two weeks of intensive drug treatment, he thankfully recovered. Having spent every day and night by his side and feeling totally helpless, I decided to raise money to buy more toys, computers and iPads having seen how those already on Holly ward provided a welcome distraction, enabling the kids to just be children again, irrespective of their illness or condition.”
Jonathan planned to walk nearly 100 miles continuously, day and night but after 56 km his walk was cut short at Sheringham due to a reoccurrence of a back injury. After extensive physiotherapy to cope with his chronic back condition Jonathan embarked on the remaining 80km of his route on 21 June. After staying in Sheringham overnight Jonathan started the final leg at 3am, aiming to finish by 9pm that night.
Jonathan said: “The night before the walk was terrible with very high winds rocking the caravan from side to side. I left after 3am and had to take it steady as the wind was really strong walking along the open cliff top.
“But after a full day of trekking through different terrains and beautiful scenery I completed the walk at 10pm. This was a huge challenge for me and one that has had its ups and downs but I am pleased to have been able to raise money for this worthy charity.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, chairman of dreamdrops said; “Jonathan showed real grit and determination as part of his walk was over soft sand dunes, which must have been hard to walk on, when you are already feeling exhausted.
“It has taken real courage to go back to where you had to leave off, in order to complete the challenge that he set himself as this was over some desolate and isolated areas. He has raised a fantastic £1,500 through his walks and his night trek up Snowdon. We cannot thank him enough for his continued efforts in raising money for dreamdrops.”
Jonathan added: “I really cannot thank the doctors and nurses enough for all they did for our family. Whilst the challenges I have faced have been daunting, raising funds is incredibly rewarding and I’d encourage others to do so; it doesn’t have to involve physical challenges, just donating whatever you can afford makes a difference. It’s great to see that the money raised is being used to benefit the children on the ward.”
If you would like to donate to Jonathan’s fund-raising coastal walk visit: https://www.justgiving.com/Jonathan-Smith57 or for more information about our charity dreamdrops please visit: https://dreamdropschildrenscharity.org or email email@example.com.
Local Freemasons raise £300 for Special Care Baby Unit
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity ‘dreamdrops’ has received a donation of £300 for the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
The money, which was raised by the Chicheley Lodge of Freemason & the Provincial Grand Charity of Northants & Hunts Freemasons, is being used to purchase a wardrobe for the newly refurbished parents’ room.
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of the ‘dreamdrops’ fundraising committee said: “We are extremely grateful to Chicheley Lodge for their continued support, and for this very generous donation.
“The money will enable us to buy a new wardrobe for the parents’ room, which is currently being refurbished to make their stay on the ward more comfortable.”
David Redden, Charity Steward at Chicheley Lodge said: “The money was raised through a Rock ‘n’ Roll night and a raffle. We raised £150 and this was enhanced by The Pro Grand Charity enabling us to give £300.
“We wanted to support a local charity and the ‘dreamdrops’ charity is such a worthwhile organisation.”
Money raised through ‘dreamdrops’ is used to provide additional items for the Special Care Baby Unit and Children’s Ward, as well as children who are cared for at home. For further information on how you can help raise funds for the charity please visit www.dreamdropschildrenscharity.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: David Redden, Charity Steward, Chicheley Lodge and Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops.
A fantastic £550 raised for our local children’s unit!
Congratulations to Claire Reece, who took part in the Cambridge half marathon on Sunday 4th March in aid of the dreamdrops charity, run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.
Claire’s son Hugo is a regular user of the children’s unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the dreamdrops charity is very close to their hearts.
Claire said: “16 months ago I decided to take up running wanting to get fit. After a few months of training I found out I was pregnant but continued to train as long as I could.
“After having my son Etienne 7 months ago I went back to training and 6 weeks later ran the Cambridge half marathon! It was a huge challenge but I wanted to give something back to the wonderful team on the Children’s Unit.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chair of dreamdrops said: “What a wonderful achievement just 7 months after having her baby. The money raised will go towards buying those little extras for the unit; we cannot thank Claire enough for her support.”
For more information about our charity dreamdrops please visit:
Photos: Claire Reece handing over cheque to Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chair of dreamdrops and Eric (4), Hugo (9), Hilary (2), Claire Reece, Etienne (7mnths) and Martha (7).
“Helping Hands” donate their time to local children’s sensory garden project
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity ‘dreamdrops’ has received an amazing donation enabling them to revamp the Sensory Garden and play area at the Children’s Unit, based at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
Each year Pope Woodhead & Associates (part of the Huron Consulting Group) run a programme called “Helping Hands,” with each office choosing a charity to donate their time to and this year they chose dreamdrops.
Louise Jones, operations co-ordinator and Cherre Northfield, project co-ordinator said: “The money provided by Huron enabled us to buy new plants, herbs, top soil, paint, cleaning materials, tactile tiles, a bird camera, table, new butterflies and ladybirds for the sensory garden and play area.
“Our office in St Ives was excited to be involved and to help dreamdrops tidy up the garden for the children and their relatives to use. It was our opportunity as a company to connect and give back to the local community.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, chairman of dreamdrops said: “The work the Helping Hands team have done in the sensory garden has transformed the area into a lovely space for children and parent’s to spend time in when staying on the unit.
“We cannot thank them enough and we are extremely grateful for this kind donation and for all their hard work.”
If you would like to find out more about dreamdrops and how you can donate to this charity please visit their website at:
Sally’s Triple Challenge helping to raise money for local children
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust’s charity ‘dreamdrops’ has received an amazing donation of over £500 for the Holly Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
Sally Burgess from St Ives recently took on the mammoth challenge of Climbing Snowdon, by herself, in under 3 hours! In July she will attempt to swim 100 lengths in 1 hour 50 minutes and in October she will take part in the Great Eastern Run – 13.1 miles.
Sally said: “My son Malcolm was very ill in December 2017. He was looked after on Holly Ward and received care at home after being discharged.
“I decided to raise money for dreamdrops to give something back to the wonderful staff that looked after Malcolm and our family.
“Climbing Snowdon was a huge challenge but also an amazing experience. I met some wonderful people on the day, everyone was really friendly and the views were stunning!”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops said: “We are delighted to receive this wonderful donation. I am thrilled that the climb went so well and cannot believe how quickly Sally managed to climb Snowdon; it is a terrific achievement, particularly as she did this ‘solo’ without any back up team!
“The money raised with go towards some new comfortable armchairs for the parents to use on Holly Ward. After nearly 14 years with the original chairs, the parents will be able to sit in comfort whilst on the ward. We cannot thank Sally enough.”
If you would like to find out more and donate to Sally’s cause please visit her Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sallystriplechallenge or if you would like to find out more about dreamdrops please visit the website at:
Thank you for the wonderful donation to dreamdrops from the Chicheley 607 Lodge of Thrapston for £750.
Picture (from left to right) are: Dr Nic Johnson, SCBU Nursery Nurse, Kerry Rasberry, Mr David Redden, Lodge Charity Steward, Mr Huw Parry-Jones, Worshipful Master and A-MH.
Marathon fundraising effort for local Children’s Unit
Huntingdonshire resident, Claire Reece, took part in the Cambridge half marathon on Sunday 4th March. The money raised will be in aid of the dreamdrops charity, run by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.
Claire said: “My son Hugo is a regular user of the children’s unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the dreamdrops charity is very close to our hearts.
“We spend a lot of time on Holly Ward and in the children’s unit and have benefitted greatly from the toys and equipment provided.
“So I wanted to give something back to say a huge thank you for all their support.”
Anne-Marie Hamilton, Chairman of dreamdrops said: “We are so grateful to Claire for her fundraising efforts and wish her well in her challenge. The money raised will make a real difference to the children on the ward.”
If you would like to find out more and donate to Claire’s fund-raising marathon please visit her Just Giving page at: