When Ayomide Soleye had to spend a week in the Royal Free due to a ruptured appendix, the children’s ward made a lasting impression on him.
The 11-year-old is so grateful for the care he received in October 2008 that he has since been donating his old toys, DVDs and CDs to the ward every Christmas.
But this Christmas Ayomide, who attends Arnold House School in St John’s Wood, has gone that extra mile – writing a heartfelt letter to all his school friends asking for their help to raise money for the Royal Free Charity.
Ayomide said: “I’m so grateful to all the staff on the children’s ward because they made my time in hospital so much more comfortable.
“I’ve been donating toys for the past three years but this year I wanted to do something extra special so I decided I wanted to raise £500 to help upgrade the children’s play area, where I spent some hours when I was on the ward. I’ve managed to raise £1,145, which is really amazing.”
Mum Lara said: “I’m really proud of him because it was all his own idea. When he was in hospital he was only eight and he couldn’t get his head around the fact the some children would have to be in hospital over Christmas. He kept saying ‘Won’t they be with their family?’ and ‘Will they still get Christmas pudding?’
“People have been so generous – four people gave us £100 each. Everyone knows what a good cause it is, and many have had personal experiences of the Royal Free, so they’ve really dug deep into their pockets.”
Ayomide presented the cheque on the children’s ward this week with his friend Daniyal Sachee. The pair also provided patients with some festive entertainment by playing Christmas carols on their cellos.
Chris Burghes, chief executive of the Royal Free Charity, said: “We are very grateful to Ayomide and his friends and family for this generous donation, which will help us to further improve the patient experience on the children’s ward. It’s so thoughtful of him to take the time to do something which will really help others this Christmas.”
Trish Luck, children’s ward matron, added: “Ayomide is a very special boy and we thank him for all his efforts over the last four years. His and Daniyal’s cello playing was also a lovely treat for children on the ward.”
Notes to editors
1. For more information contact Danielle Vincent on 020 7317 7740 or email@example.com
2. The Royal Free Charity spends over £4million annually on improving the patient experience and funding pioneering medical research at the Royal Free Hospital.
Its remit is to support initiatives beyond the scope of NHS approved funding which:
• improve services, facilities and the environment for patients and staff of the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust
• promote medical knowledge through research and by ensuring this is well communicated
• preserve the heritage and spirit of the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust as a pioneering and influential organisation
The charity supports both innovative research and day to day requirements at the Royal Free Hospital. It enables medical progress which has a positive effect on the patient experience and leads to genuine and lasting improvements in care. You can help support the charity’s valuable work by donating online at http://www.royalfreecharity.org
3. The Royal Free attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, surgery for hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) conditions, clinical neurosciences, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and are a member of the academic health science partnership UCL Partners. For further information, visit www.royalfree.nhs.uk