Barbara Windsor took time out from Albert Square to attend the opening of a new children’s sensory room donated by the LTFUC to the University College Hospital, Euston Road, London, NW1 (Children’s Galaxy Ward) on Friday 10 November 2006.
The London Taxidrivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children recently donated a miniature taxi, murals and sensory equipment totalling in excess of £8700 for the opening of a new children’s Sensory Room located in the children’s Galaxy Ward on the 11th floor of the new University College Hospital in Euston Road, NW1. Half of the floor is for children with cancer and leukaemia and the other half treats acute admissions.
On Friday 10th November the official presentation and opening of the room took place and what a memorable occasion it turned out to be. The fund’s Hon. Life President, Bill Tyzack, BEM, Hon. Chairman David Lessman and all the committee were in attendance and we were honoured and delighted to have Barbara Windsor join us as our guest, along with the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Jill Fraser. Before the official opening took place, Barbara took time going round the wards chatting to the children and later told me she would be back in two weeks to visit a child suffering from cancer who she had just met – what a wonderful lady she is!
Ward Sister Annabel Simmonds commenced the proceedings by thanking the LTFUC on behalf of the hospital and described the project as “a dream come true”. The Fund’s Hon. Life President, Bill Tyzack, BEM, followed with a speech praising the hard work of his committee in raising the money and the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Jill Fraser, then made a speech describing the work of the LTFUC as “legendary and wonderful” and brought the house down by telling us she had just been with Her Majesty the Queen and was thrilled and delighted to be meeting another Queen of the East End on the same day – our Barbara! Two Queens in one day is quite an achievement, even for a Mayoress and meeting Barbara had really made her day!
An 11-year old boy from one of the wards helped to complete the ribbon cutting ceremony and this was a very moving moment. The room, which had been named by the children on the ward as “The Sunshine Room”, had a plaque affixed to the door incorporating the name of the room, the fund’s name and logo. The entrance to the room had been decorated with the artwork of children’s illustrator Karen George, which consisted of taxis and London landmarks, with another mural inside the room showing a calming seaside theme. “The Sunshine Room” equipment consisted of comfy chairs, optic lights, bubble tubes, mirrors, projectors and a soft play area. The miniature taxi had been placed in the corridor outside the room and this had been kindly donated by Geoffrey Hunt, Managing Director of Rainbow Rides, who was also present and the committee are all deeply grateful to him for this donation. Barbara couldn’t resist the temptation of squeezing her tiny frame into the taxi, but us larger ones declined, not wanting to end up as patients!
UCH play specialist Jessie Butler said “one of the children called it the ‘no worries’ room, which says it all. It will be a place to get them away from the hospital environment and all of the horrible things associated with it. For acute admissions it gives children a space to escape an often traumatic admission through A&E. For cancer patients, it gives them a space to relax from often aggressive lengthy treatment”.
The LTFUC would like to thank Ward Sister Annabel Simmonds and Ian Lloyd, Media Relations Manager of the hospital for all their assistance and I am sure they will derive great pleasure from seeing the children benefit from using “The Sunshine Room” and the taxi. We are also deeply grateful to the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Jill Fraser and Barbara Windsor for giving up their valuable time to join us.
THE LONDON TAXIDRIVERS’ FUND FOR UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN ARE ONCE AGAIN PROUD TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ASSIST CHILDREN WHO NEED OUR HELP.
Raymond Levy (Press Officer)