ROCKINGHORSE has launched their spring appeal aiming to raise £25,000 for a range of new projects supporting sick children across Sussex.
The Brighton based charity is hoping to raise funds over the next few months that will go toward community projects, equipment, and services, all linked by the common thread of aiming to improve the lives of sick children throughout Sussex.
The support that Rockinghorse provides isn’t just for medical equipment. Often their projects help children throughout local communities as well as those spending time in hospital, and this new appeal reflects this diversity.
One of these projects is to continue funding a special type of horse-riding therapy known as hippotherapy at Chailey Heritage Foundation near Lewes, which provides education and care services for young people with complex neuro-disabilities. Since 2018 Rockinghorse has been providing funding for this therapy which uses the movement of the horse as physiotherapy, helping to strengthen core muscles and improve head control.
Another project the charity is hoping to raise funds for is aimed at keeping familiar voices close at hand for children in hospital.
If children are spending a long time in hospital, it can be difficult for their parents or carers to be there all the time, but hearing their voices can really help soothe and relax those who are anxious or struggling to sleep. So, Rockinghorse is hoping to fund some Toniebox Audio Players which can not only play audiobooks but also record up to 90 minutes of speech that can be played back at any time.
This means that children can hear those familiar voices even when they aren’t able to have their parent or carer with them in the hospital.
Children with long term conditions can often struggle with feeling different and isolated from their peers. So, another goal for the charity is to fund some Woodland Wellbeing days for these children to help combat these feelings and help build their confidence.
The sessions will be run by the psychotherapist in paediatric psychological support services at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and will take place in Stanmer Park, where the children can play games, build dens, and meet others living with chronic conditions.
The charity is also hoping to raise funds for two projects at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Haywards Heath.
The Special Care Baby Unit at the hospital cares for extremely premature babies, and as these babies get older, they become more aware and need more visual stimulation. In order to help with their development, Rockinghorse would like to fund some new sensory equipment to support a range of different visual and motor skills.
And finally, a visit to Accident & Emergency can be a daunting prospect for anyone, let alone a child, and so finding ways to help make this more pleasant is important.
So, Rockinghorse would also like to fund a Visualite ceiling light for the department at PRH, which provides a relaxing, ambient atmosphere through a range of different images, helping to distract the children waiting for treatment.
Janella Merritt, Head of Fundraising at Rockinghorse, is really hoping that the charity can raise the £25,000 needed to cover all these projects:
“We are lucky enough to see first-hand the amazing difference that projects and equipment like this can have on poorly children, which is why this Spring appeal is so important.
“There are thousands of children who need regular support to manage their health within the community, and this help is often provided by charitable donations. The difference this can make to a child’s recovery or ongoing care is vital, making them feel happier, safer, and more comfortable, along with increasing their confidence and helping them feel less isolated.
“So, we hope that understanding how this fundraising can make a tangible difference to the lives of so many children will encourage people to donate or raise some money to help us reach our goal.”
To find out more about the work that Rockinghorse does, or to make a donation or sign up for a fundraising event, please visit: www.rockinghorse.org.uk or call the charity on 01273 330044.