Local children with epilepsy were treated to a summer fun day thanks to Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) nurse Kirsten McHale.
80 children, parents and helpers gathered at Blacklands Farm in East Grinstead, where the youngsters enjoyed a barbeque lunch and could take part in a climbing wall, rope activity courses and creative challenges.
The idea behind the day was to help young people and their families make friends and build a support network. Kirsten raised money through a curry and quiz night to fund the event, with the support of SASH Charity.
Kirsten said: “I wanted to bring young people together, not necessarily to talk about epilepsy, but to realise that they are not alone. It is so amazing to see the families coming together; these events are such a vital support to them. I am extremely grateful to the volunteers who helped – without them this would not be possible.”
Local mother Alison Best, who attended with her daughter, said: “We are very grateful for all the time and effort put into fundraising and organising such a special day. We really appreciate everything Kirsten does, both in the hospital and on the fun days.”
SASH supports over 400 people with epilepsy. Kirsten from Turners Hill, West Sussex, was previously shortlisted for a national award for the support she provides for young people, running a programme of events and activities to help reduce feelings of isolation among her patients.
Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive at SASH, said: “I am delighted that we were able to put on such a special day for the young people who attended. We know how important these activities can be in helping people build their support network. Kirsten is a great example of someone going above and beyond to make a difference to our patients.”
SASH Charity is the charity for East Surrey Hospital and all the services provided by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. To find out how to donate, visit www.sashcharity.org.