TWO Strabane mums will embark on a fundraising mission this weekend on behalf of Altnagelvin Parents Support Group.
Kellie McGowan and Laura McCready, whose children have been attendees at wards six and 16 over the years, have instigated a local campaign to raise enough money to purchase a bed (£900), for parents staying overnight at the hospital.
In reality, the support group are in the process of raising enough money to buy 20 of the specialist beds.
“Ward six and 16 have been a large part of our life for the last four years,” mum Kellie explained. “Charlie first spent time on the ward when he was two weeks old and from that, he has been a regular.”
Charlie (4) suffers from epilepsy and little Ruby (5) is diabetic and according to Kellie, having a bed for a parent to sleep on when the kids are in hospital makes
“All the difference”
“Any parent who has had to spend the night in hospital with their child will know what it’s like,” she said.
“It is extremely difficult for parents of children who are patients in the hospital because at the minute the only facilities available to them are the chairs beside the children’s bed, therefore parents get no sleep at all.”
She added, “Sleep is crucial when a child is in hospital for any parent to function half normal at such a stressful time, so these beds would make such a difference.
“Myself and Laura McCready have said we will try our best to get one bed and with the help of Raymond Barr and Michael Ferry we are running a few events in order to raise funds to assist the children’s ward and would be extremely grateful for any donations.”
The local ladies’ mission recently held a bag pack at Asda.
Then tomorrow (Saturday, February 9) a sponsored walk will take place to the top of Knockavoe and this will be followed by a fundraising night in Christie’s Bar in Strabane – with music, a raffle and loads of craic.
“We didn’t expect such great support,” Kellie continued. “So many things have been donated for the raffle like nights away and a signed Tyrone jersey that we decided to get tickets organised so that even if people can’t make it on the night, they could still buy a ticket.
“Hopefully we get a good crowd.”