Hundreds of toys donated to hospital’s children’s department

Six-year-old Sky Walsh helping Lisa Unstead unload trolleys full of toys for the children's ward at

Six-year-old Sky Walsh helping Lisa Unstead unload trolleys full of toys for the children's ward at the N&N. Sky, from Dereham, was in the hospital for an ear operation. Photo: Bill Smith

Three car loads of toys were transported to stunned patients and nurses after a Norwich businesswoman asked family and friends to buy gifts for a children's hospital for a party to mark two milestones.

Lisa Unstead handing over trolleys full of toys to Emma Dolman for the children's ward at the N&N. P

Lisa Unstead handing over trolleys full of toys to Emma Dolman for the children's ward at the N&N. Photo: Bill Smith

More than 250 toys were delivered to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Tuesday after Lisa Unstead invited guests at her 40th birthday party to donate presents to the Jenny Lind Children's department.

The toys, which ranged from hundreds of children's story books, pushchairs, children's iPads and train sets worth around £7,000, were handed over to the amazement of staff.

Mrs Unstead, of Thorpe St Andrew, held a party at Brasted's restaurant in Framingham Pigot, near Norwich, last month to celebrate her 40th birthday and the 10th anniversary of her family-run recruitment agency and asked the 200 guests to choose a birthday gift from a very special wish list.

The mother-of-one and chief executive officer of Norwich-based Perfect Placement created a list of suitable toys, following consultation with hospital officials, to be donated to the children's department.


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The request resulted in two large cages and eight sacks brimming with toys being presented to staff and patients, which are suitable to be used in the waiting areas, playrooms and treatment areas across the department.

Mrs Unstead said she wanted to do something tangible to benefit local children.

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'I have experienced the Jenny Lind's care first hand, through friends, and I wanted to be able to give something back to such a great cause. My husband and I have worked with the hospital staff to find suitable and appropriate toys.'

Staff from Perfect Placement discovered that the hospital needed new toys because some disappeared from the ward and others were broken.

Jimi Matthews, principal consultant for Perfect Placement, who helped deliver the toys said staff were 'gobsmacked' by the donation.

Emma Dolman, senior nurse for paediatrics at the N&N, said: 'We cannot thank Lisa and her company enough for thinking of our patients in the Jenny Lind Children's department, we know that toys are a great distraction to our patients waiting for treatment. Play, in its many forms is an essential part of children and young people's lives even when in hospital and the donation of these gifts will improve the current selection of toys and activities on offer to our patients.'

Louise Cook, fundraising manager at the hospital, added: 'We are so grateful that people support Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund. Whilst the NHS provides the necessities, the charity funds projects that make the hospital experience a better one for our patients, visitors and staff. We are always looking for people to get involved in fundraising like Lisa, so please contact us if you would like to help.'

Anyone wishing to make a donation of the hospital are asked to contact 01603 287107 or visit www.nnuh.nhs.uk

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