A four-year-old boy whose lockdown stone snake united his community has delivered a host of treats to Rotherham Hospital with the funds he also raised.
Stanley Briggs wanted a pet snake so much his parents suggested he make one from colourfully decorated stones to display outside his house in Ravenfield, Rotherham, instead.
Despite heartless thieves stealing 79 of the stones in May, Stanley was not deterred and with the help of people world-wide, he collected a massive 1,200 stones and £140 in donations.
Stanley used the funds raised for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity to purchase a host of treats to thank NHS staff in the Radiology department at Rotherham Hospital, where his parents, Emma Rose and Adrian Briggs previously worked.
Emma, now a Senior Radiographer at Thornbury Hospital in Sheffield, said:
“Stanley started his snake and within a week we had 79 individually decorated stones, which brought so much happiness to Stanley and everyone who walked past our house too.
“We were devastated when they were stolen. But there is a massive happy ending to the story because the Ravenfield community and neighbouring villages rallied around and we started to re-grow Stanley’s snake. We had 279 donated on the first day and it’s now more than 1,200 stones long with contributions from as far afield as Hawaii and Australia.
“Generous people also asked if they could help Stanley to fundraise so we decided to support the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s Rotherham NHS Superheroes appeal. We asked for our donation to go to the Radiology department where Adrian and I met and worked. It’s a place that has many happy memories for us.
“Delivering the goodies has been another highlight for us and we hope it raises lots of smiles amongst our old colleagues.”
Buffet food, including cakes, fruit, quiche and sandwiches were also generously donated by Morrisons and Lillie’s Coffee Shop at Bramley and the Co-Op and Potteries Tea Rooms, both in Swinton.
Rachel Bell, Deputy Professional Lead for Medical Imaging in Clinical Radiology, donated two decorative stones to add to Stanley’s snake.
“We’ve been following Stanley’s story on Facebook and in the local media. We feel incredibly proud of what he has achieved, despite the setbacks he faced when his stone collection was sadly stolen. It’s humbling to receive the refreshments and a real morale booster for everyone in Radiology – thank you.”
The charity’s Rotherham NHS Superheroes campaign was introduced in response to the public’s support for NHS colleagues as they care for Coronavirus patients. The charity has since received a host of donations from individuals, organisations and community groups from Rotherham and beyond ranging from refreshments, PPE, hand-made scrubs, headbands and laundry bags to tablets and toys.
The campaign aims to raise funds for care packages, refreshments and treats during busy shifts plus longer-term projects such as access to health and well-being initiatives to boost morale and mental health programmes to ensure staff stay well.
Martin Havenhand, Chairman of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Stanley has quite rightly become the star of his community in Ravenfield thanks to his wonderfully creative idea to encourage everyone to contribute to a stone snake. To have more than 1,200, even after some were sadly stolen, is no mean feat. Well done Stanley.
“Thank you so much to everyone who has supported Stanley and to those who donated funds to also boost the charity. The refreshments were a thoughtful gesture for colleagues at the Trust who are still working hard in difficult circumstances.”