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#TOO500 – Thursday January 10th 2019

What’s it all about?

TOO500, which stands for Thinking of Oscar 500, is the name of the bike ride which we are organising to mark the 5th anniversary of the charity and five years since Oscar died. The significance of the 500 is that this is the number of miles that will be cycled from start to finish.

The ride begins in Oxford on Wednesday 12th June 2019. From there we ride to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, over the Pennines to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, down to Great Ormond Children’s Hospital in London and back up to Oxford, arriving on Sunday 16th June 2019.

The purpose of the ride is to raise awareness of the need to invest more in child health and to raise £500,000. Having achieved our fundraising goal we will continue to work with the consortia of children’s hospitals that we have brought together in order to continue to have a good understanding as to how they are spending the money raised by Thinking of Oscar. We will then invite all those involved to reconvene 18 months later to enable each institution to present back to the rest of the group about what they have achieved during that time.

Registration for the event is now open and you can find out more about it at www.too500.co.uk and see the route map here.  You are welcome to join us for the entire ride or for one or more days. We are also seeking corporate partners. Those relationships might take different forms; including for example,  a donation that covers the cost of some or all of the event, or a bespoke arrangement which enables a number of employees to participate in the ride themselves. You can contact us directly or via info@too500.co.uk in order to find out more.

2018 in Review – Saturday December 29th 2018

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.

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