An enterprising doctor has used a charitable donation from North Mid Hospital to produce 40 new “Kid’s Kit” bags for children who need to go into emergency foster care.
Dr Gayle Hann, the lead doctor for child protection at North Mid, bid for the money as part of the hospital’s “Dragon’s Den” competition earlier this year, which saw the Trust share out nearly £130,000 of charitable funds to support more than a dozen projects during 2018-19 that will improve patient care and experience.
Dr Hann was awarded £2310 to fund the “Kid’s Kit” bags, which contain all the essentials that a child might need for a first night in foster care, such as PJs, underwear, toothbrush and hairbrush, plus some personal comforts including a book, activities and a soft toy.
Dr Hann has now put together enough backpacks for all the children likely to need to go straight to emergency foster accommodation straight from the North Mid for the next year.
She said: “Every year, about 20-30 children are brought to the A&E at North Mid by social workers or the police, because they’ve been found home alone, wandering in the street, or need emergency care for neglect or abuse injuries. Sometimes they arrive only in the clothes they’re wearing, and perhaps whatever is in their pockets.
“I’ve been North Mid’s named doctor for child protection for four years now, so I’ve probably come across a hundred or more children in this situation, and I know that as well as treating the physical injuries, it’s hugely important that we also help them feel less scared and bewildered and try to make them feel valued.
“Although it probably seems small, a backpack full of clean, new, personal items that the child or young person gets to keep, really makes an important difference, and shows these vulnerable young people that they are in a safe and caring place.”
Each backpack contains age-appropriate clothes, toys, books and other items, and are made up for toddlers, young children, older children and teenagers.
If you want to help us make more backpacks for vulnerable children going into emergency foster care, check out Dr Hann’s Kid’s Kit WishList. You can also contribute to North Mid’s charitable funds by contacting our finance team on 020 8887 3167.