Where to start? So much has happened with the charity this year it does feel like 2018 has been a pivotal one for us.
For the past 18 months we have been preparing for how we were going to mark the 5th Anniversary of Thinking of Oscar, and of course five years since we lost Oscar. During that time our energy has mostly been spent on ensuring the monies we had raised to date were being deployed productively. We wanted to make sure that there was a reason to stick with us. We wanted to make sure there was value in what we were doing, that children having some kind of positive experience or another in hospital was benefiting. We wanted to earn the trust of supporters who had donated in the past and give them good reason to choose to continue to support Thinking of Oscar in the future.
As a result, we completed on some projects including:
The Super Hero Kit campaign, which ran at Oxford’s Children’s Hospital, The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary. The feedback we received from the hospitals was that the kits had been very well received. Their purpose is to reward children having prolonged hospital visits and you can click here to see some beautiful pictures sent to us by the team at The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
We made a visit to The Oxford Vaccine Group to see how they were getting on with the Biotek Washer that we had donated to them. This was far more strategic that we had initially understood, in that by using the equipment they are able to accelerate their research dramatically. Given that this is the group responsible for the majority of the child vaccination programme in the UK this benefit cannot be over stated.
We also visited the team using the Simulation kits donated by Thinking of Oscar to understand how their use can benefit our children. In the paediatric context simulation training is used to prepare medical professionals for events which are quite unlikely but where there is no room for error in the event that they do happen. An example of how the innovative kit is being used is that it enables the trainer to alter the data seen by the nurses and doctors, suggesting that the patient’s condition is either worsening or improving and enforcing the professionals to adjust what they are doing real time during the training, just as in real life.
In parallel with making sure the investments we have been making are having the desired effect we have also been working intently on our 2019 fundraising campaign; TOO500. We will talk more about this in a separate article but in a nutshell, the campaign involves cycling from Oxford to five of the UK’s most well-known children’s hospitals, covering 500 miles in five days. The purpose of the ride is to raise awareness of the need to invest in child health and to raise £500,000 which will be shared amongst the . What makes this campaign exciting is its uniqueness. Quite apart from the physical challenge of the journey, we have brought together six fantastic institutions, all of whom share a desire to take advantage of technological advancement to drive improvements in outcomes in child health. You can read more about Thinking of Oscar at www.thinkingofoscar.com and more about our plans for 2019 at www.too500.co.uk.