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Generous gifts mean extra play for children's wards

Skye Edgecombe

When teen cancer survivor Skye Edgecombe thanked staff at Morriston Hospital for treating her it really was a case of fun and games.

The 19-year-old from Swansea was diagnosed with leukaemia aged 13 and spent two-and-a-half years going back and forth to hospital before receiving the all clear.

She has now presented the hospital’s children’s wards with £200 worth of board games, arts and crafts materials and toys.

Pictured above (from left to right) Skye Edgecombe, Cathy Snell, Swansea Bay fundraising officer, Karla Edgecombe, Lisa Morgan, Swansea Bay play coordinator, Susan Hobbs, and Lisa Richards, Swansea Bay play leader.

Skye’s stays on the ward were made more bearable by being able to draw and play board games. Her thoughtful gesture is designed to help other youngsters during their time in hospital.

She said: “It’s hard spending a lot of time in hospital, especially when you’re a teenager, but having staff and family support around you is really helpful.

“I also did a lot of colouring, played Scrabble countless times and Monopoly was definitely used.” 

As an ambassador for the Welsh children's cancer charity, LATCH, and a prolific fundraiser in her community, Skye drew on personal experience to say ‘thank you’, with help from her family.

“I can’t thank all the staff enough and I have wanted to give something back throughout my treatment,” she said. “So we put together an Amazon wish list, a mixture of arts and craft and different games, for the ward’s playroom.

“The response was fantastic and I would like to say a massive thank you to all who contributed.”

Lisa Morgan,  play coordinator at Morriston Hospital, took receipt of the gifts, said: “Skye loved colouring and playing all the board games. It can be difficult for teenagers as they may not want to come into the playroom, but we can also support them at the bedside too. 

“We try to encourage fun and interaction as much as we can. To have these facilities and play materials is amazing. They will provide endless fun for children of all ages.

“There’s loads of arts and crafts, which the children like to do daily, children want to draw, colour and paint, now we have lots of games for when they become bored at the bedside also. 

“Our role is to visit the children, help prepare them for procedures through playful interventions, and ensure we provide distraction throughout their hospital stay.”

Susan Hobbs, Skye’s grandmother, has been very creative, making Easter and Christmas crafts, story book cushions, masks, peg bags, make up bags and more. Skye’s sister Karla sells these on social media to raise money for charities.

Susan said: “When Skye said she wanted to do something to thank staff we started straight away, there was no question about it. 

“They have been absolutely amazingly all the way through her treatment. They couldn’t do enough for us. A big regard to them all.”

And Skye’s sister, Karla, said: “She’s my hero. An inspiration to us all. Not just through this but many things in life, her resilience is amazing. 

“The support we’ve had from both hospitals, in Cardiff with LATCH, and here in Morriston, has been tremendous.”

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Swansea Bay Health Charity

Are you interested in raising money to support NHS services in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot? Did you know that Swansea Bay University Health Board has its own fundraising charity?

Swansea Bay Health Charity supports patients, staff and services within Swansea Bay University Health Board. Visit its webpage here to find out more.

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