Grateful family member cycles from London to Paris and raises over £6,000 for the Sunflower Suite
In October 2021, Reetha Thakkar was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Since then, she has been bravely battling her illness and has undergone an intensive and gruelling programme of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the Sunflower Suite at Queen's Hospital. It was an incredibly difficult, worrying and challenging time for Reetha's family. Reetha has shown courage and strength to fight her illness, and this is in large part down to the amazing care and support she has received from the staff in the Sunflower Suite.
Kishan, Reetha's son in-law decided to fundraise for the department due to their genuine care and support, which the family will be eternally grateful for. Kishan cycled from London to Paris on August 10th 2022, covering the distance of 281 miles over four days and cycling for approximately 8-10 hours each day. Due to Kishan’s hard work and the support he received, over £6,000 was raised for the Sunflower Suite to improve patient experiences!
This week, Kishan, Reetha and the rest of their family presented the cheque to the Sunflower Suite team. Kishan said: "As a family we felt helpless when mum was ill, so I wanted to think of a way to try and give something back to help the team for all their help. I hope the funds can continue to support more people in their fight against cancer."
Our charity and the Sunflower Suite team are extremely grateful to Kishan, his family, friends and all those who supported his journey. You are truly making a difference to our hospitals.
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Money raised by Captain Tom funds new ambulances for our Trust
We often are asked if we received any of the Captain Sir Tom Moore funding, well we can tell you that we absolutely did and we’ve decided to buy three new ambulances for elderly patients using money raised by this national hero. We have funded the ambulances with £390,000 we received from NHS Charities Together, the organisation for which Captain Sir Tom Moore raised over £33 million by walking laps of his garden.
We will spend a further £110,000 from general funds on the HomeFirst Scheme, where assessments for a patient’s rehabilitation, equipment and care takes place in their own home to give a “more accurate picture” of the level of support they require. The scheme, run by our Red2Green team, ensures long-term decisions are not made about patients’ futures while they are in hospital.
We also plan to work with Age UK on additional staff visits for those at risk of isolation. These patients will receive help to video call friends and family and have access to Sparko entertainment, which includes fitness sessions and live discussion groups. It also includes the caregiver app, which allows Age UK staff, relatives and carers to set reminders that pop up on the TV.
Charity chairman George Wood called the veteran’s fundraising “inspiring,” and said the charity wanted to put their share of the money to “good use”.
He explained: “I can’t think of a more fitting project – supporting our elderly and vulnerable patients to get home from hospital, while also offering initiatives, such as Sparko, to reduce social isolation and loneliness, which have been exacerbated due to the pandemic. It has also been a great opportunity to work collaboratively across our communities, such as with Age UK.”
Red2Green transformation facilitator Mike Exford added: “This scheme is making a huge difference to our patients, who we know would prefer to be in their own homes where possible. It also lessens their risk of potential harm, such as loss of independence, common after long hospital stays. Not only that, it’s improving patient flow through our hospitals and freeing up our acute therapists to focus on those patients who really need them.”