I LOVE Action for Sick Children, Cheadle Hulme

19 Sep 2016

What is Action for Sick Children? Well, imagine arriving at hospital with your poorly child, fearing the worst. Meningitis, perhaps. A medic takes your little one from your arms and dismisses you with a cursory ‘thank you Mother’. Unbelievable, isn’t it? Agonising for the parent and devastating for a child, already scared and in pain.

And yet, that’s exactly what used to happen. Fortunately, several mothers formed what was then Mother Care for Children in Hospital in 1961. Changes over the years have led to the formation of charity, Action for Sick Children, via the National Association for the Welfare of Children in Hospital. Earlier this year, Action for Sick Children chose to open their head office right here, in Cheadle Hulme.


One of Action for Sick Children’s main achievements has been that it’s now mandatory for children’s wards and hospitals to allow unrestricted family visiting. Beds are usually provided for parents to stay with their children. Action for Sick Children have contributed to government consultations, and committees on children’s health services. The Action for Sick Children Standards of Care were published in early 90s and adopted nationwide. These include Every Child Matters, National Service Framework and the new Children’s Forum. 


Children’s health services have improved tremendously. The charity continues to play an influential, consultative role to government in the development of children’s healthcare policies. Action for Sick Children is, rightly, proud of the role it has played in recognising the importance of sick children’s needs.

Action for Sick Children’s innovations include the Dental Playbox Scheme, now in its tenth year. Through play, children of 3-5 are taught good dental hygiene and habits… They get to dress up as dentists and dental nurses, helping allay any fears. A crocodile character – with, naturally, rather fantastic teeth – also helps. Some shocking statistics:

·         46% of five year olds have experienced tooth decay. Many require hospitalisation for extractions.

·         60% of nine year olds have filled or decayed teeth.

·         Five year olds who visit the dentist regularly have fewer fillings and less decay than children who do not.

·         Increasing numbers of children have gum inflammation or plaque.

·         The Dental Playbox currently reaches over 7,000 children every year.

Chief Executive Val Jackson has met 3-year-olds who don’t even own a toothbrush. She tells me she’d like to extend the Dental Playbox Scheme to revisit children through infant school, thus reinforcing the message. Action for Sick Children aim to give every child a brushing bag, complete with toothbrush, toothpaste, a timer and a simple poster, showing how to properly care for their teeth.  As yet, Action for Sick Children receive NO GOVERNMENT FUNDING in England – although Val won’t rest until they do.



Other innovations include the Magical Power of Play Appeal. A survey of play specialists aims to really help children in hospital. 96% of Play Specialists buy their own toys. Action for Sick Children want to ensure that every children’s ward and every children’s hospital in the country has a playbox. Another vital campaign is for young people in the transitional stage – teenagers – with chronic illnesses. They’re often scared and confused too, but admitted to adult – even geriatric – wards, with no television, enforced quiet and restricted visiting… NOT conducive to recovery.

Since Action for Sick Children opened their door on Ravenoak Road, Val has been humbled by the interest and support given locally. She kindly credits I Love Cheadle Hulme with raising awareness and is grateful to all the businesses who’ve offered prizes and fundraising ideas, including:

A casino night at the Governors recently raised over £400. This was despite being arranged in a hurry!

A Zumbathon takes place on 24 September with Zumba with Fiona Cheadle Hulme – get involved! It’s at the Ladybridge Park residents’ club.


Linda at Rainbow88 is hosting an ‘Over the Rainbow’ themed night on 27 October.


Local people have been very supportive, too. Although the bags of donated clothes often left outside have to be donated elsewhere!

Action for Sick Children LOVE Cheadle Hulme

So it’s clear that Val and the team love Cheadle Hulme. They love the local businesses for shopping and fun, as well as support! Lunches are often from the Board or Whittakers. Nights out take place at the John Millington, the Governors, or Rainbow88. Daisies and Hallmark are excellent for cards and presents! Cheadle Hulme loves Action for Sick Children too – please help them in any way you can. One day it could be YOUR child who’s grateful for their help.

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