Wellbeing foundation grant puts a smile on Stockport young patients’ faces

December 21, 2015

A much-loved ‘clown doctor’ will now be able to visit children in Stockport’s Stepping Hill NHS Hospital children’s ward throughout 2016 thanks to a grant from the Care UK wellbeing foundation.

Around 6,000 children visit the hospital each year and, in 2015, Prestwich-based charity MedEquip4kids introduced magic ‘clown doctor’ Louby-Lou to the hospital to perform a colourful and interactive show to brighten the day of children experiencing long stays.

The Care UK wellbeing foundation was established as a way for Care UK to give back to the communities where it provides health and social care services. Over the next year, it has £25,000 available for grants to support charities which promote wellbeing through the arts. Local charity MedEquip4kids applied successfully for a grant from the foundation and a cheque was recently handed over on the children’s ward.

Paul Cocker, a fundraiser for MedEquip4kids, said: “The children love Louby-Lou’s visits and this experience of the performing arts is an invaluable distraction from what can be an upsetting experience. This £2,000 donation will truly make a difference to the lives and experiences of hundreds of children.”

Children visiting the hospital are receiving treatment for a wide variety of conditions and may have extended stays in hospital. Louby-Lou said: “Performing comedy and tricks as a ‘magic medic’ allows me to use my specialist skills to bring a positive atmosphere to the children’s wards, by creating laughter and smiles for the patients and families during their difficult time.”

Applications for new grants are now open. Fundraisers at charities which work to promote wellbeing through the arts can find out more about the foundation’s grants by visiting the nominations page.

Applications for new grants are now open. Fundraisers at charities which work to promote wellbeing through the arts can find out more about the foundation’s grants by visiting the nominations page.

John O’Brien, Care UK’s deputy managing director of secondary care, went along to present the cheque and to meet Louby-Lou and some of the children. He said: “The foundation aims to promote wellbeing through the arts and it’s clear to see that the youngest patients at Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital benefit from the outstanding work of Louby-Lou and MedEquip4kids.

“The foundation’s board members were very impressed with the level of support the group gives to young patients in Stockport. We know from our own healthcare services how humour and a smile can help patients to recover and feel more comfortable in medical surroundings. The more relaxed and happy people are, the quicker they recover.”

Greater Manchester NHS Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS), run by Care UK, provides fast and convenient access to high quality diagnostics and assessment for people in the region. It works closely with GPs, local hospitals and other healthcare professionals to ensure patients get the treatment they need as quickly as possible. As well as mobile clinical units, it works in health centres, GP practices and leisure centres. Services can be found in Bolton, Denton, Longsight, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford and Stretford.

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