We've already told you that Priority Space has adopted the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) as its first ever charity partner - the charity supports the children’s cardiac ward at the Leeds Children’s Hospital.
But did you know our first gift of funding has been invested in the maintenance and up-keep of a quite distinctive part of the ward's environment - the fish tank!
We were asked by the charity if we'd mind sponsoring this feature and we were happy to do so as we considered this a worthwhile resource. We know how much physical space matters, and can contribute to how people feel. The fish tank on Ward L51 provides comfort, colour and distraction for young patients and their families as they await and recover from treatments and check-ups. Even more importantly, we're told that many young heart patients use the tank as a goal to walk towards while recovering from their life-saving open heart surgery and other invasive procedures.
We were very pleased to receive this feedback about what the fish tank means to families who go to Leeds City General for children's cardiac ward:
“Bella has loved the fish tank forever! When she was little she loved watching them, it’s a distraction from where she was. Last year we used the fish tank as a goal/incentive to get Bella out of bed and walk after her heart surgery… it works!”
"We used the fishes to encourage Adam to get up and about and move his head, which he was reluctant to do because of his central line dressing. The play team said he could feed the fishes that day if he got up and walked to the tank!”
“My Lexi-Lou loved the fish while she was in having her heart surgery in June! They kept her calm and she then asked for one for her birthday 2 weeks later! You are amazing and what you do for our heart warriors is incredible!”
Caitlin Hazell, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Children’s Heart Surgery Fund added: "You only have to read the feedback from families to show how important the fish tank is to recovery - both mentally and physically. It’s a fantastic resource which forms a hub of activity for both families and patients.
“We are delighted to welcome Priority Space on board as a corporate partner to the charity. Their support has already enabled us to sustain our provision of the fish tank for patients and families and will continue to combine with other businesses’ to have a great impact on our region’s young heart patients and their families."
CHSF have supported The Leeds Congenital Heart Unit (LCHU) for over 30 years. The LCHU cares for patients with congenital heart disease of all ages, from before birth to old age and from across the region - including South Yorkshire patients.
Priority Space Director Adam Richardson said: “Lee and I are both Dads with young families and can very much appreciate how terrible it must be to have a child who is ill and needs to undergo surgery and receive hospital care. That is hwy we decided to back the Children's Heart Surgey Fund in their work supporting the specialist NHS team at Leeds, who treat children with heart conditions from across our region."
CHSF provides vital equipment and support to Leeds General Hospital’s ‘Children’s Congenital Heart Unit’ where hundreds of babies and children with heart defects from across Yorkshire receive life-saving surgery, treatment and specialist care every year.
Almost 1 in 100 babies are born with heart disease according to NHS figures, and it is the most common form of birth defect.
Over the next 12 months, Priority Space are set to raise further money for CHSF and awareness of its work.
To find out more about CHSF and donate, visit chsf.org.uk/donate.