Throughout the year, we hold pyjama parties in our classes to teach essential water safety skills in a fun and controlled environment. We use our Autumn PJ parties to raise awareness and funds for a charity in our area. Often our customers have had a direct need for the chosen charity so it’s a great way for them, and the rest of the Puddle Ducks family, to give back to such a worthy cause.
We’ve received a brilliant number of nominations and now it’s time for YOU to choose who we support during November.
Please see below for a list and brief description of the nominated charities. You can cast your vote (just once per person please!) at the bottom of this page. Voting closes at 09.30 on Monday 10th October and the winning charity will be announced later that day.
Here's a list of the nominated charities:
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- Stick ‘n’ Step
- Marie Curie
- Kicks Count
- Ronald McDonald House Arrowe Park
- Northern Lights Children's Charity
- Claire House
- Babygrow Appeal
- Macmillan Nurses
- Ickle Pickles, Arrowe Park
- The Besom
- R Charity
- Cheshire Down's Syndrome Support Group
- North West Human Milk Bank
- Hospice of the Good Shepherd
And here's a brief summary about the charities and why they were nominated:
1) Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Nominated by Sarah Graves, Puddle Ducks customer and mum to 5 year old Max.
We fund research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes. We work with government, academia and industry to accelerate research in the UK and within healthcare policy to ensure that the outcomes of research are delivered to people with type 1 in the UK.
The charity I would like to nominate for pyjama week is 'Juvenile Diabetes' for young children living with type 1 diabetes. My son Max has type 1 diabetes and is treated by the Paediatric Diabetes Team at the Countess of Chester hospital. They do a fantastic job supporting children and their families in Chester and on the Wirral. The money raised could be given directly to this department so would benefit local children. The children living with this condition can be as young as 18 months and we found out about Max when he was 2.5yrs.
2) Stick ‘n’ Step
Nominated by Puddle Ducks customer Lisa Marie Williams and mum to Harrison.
Working with children with cerebral palsy and their families across the North West.
Lisa Marie says, my son Harrison swims on a Sunday and he has cerebral palsy. Every Monday and Thursday he visits Stick ‘n’ Step and they offer alternative therapy to children with cerebral palsy. They don't only support the children, they support the parents as well. My son couldn't even crawl when he started and now he can walk in a walker. I don't think he would be where he is where he is today if it wasn't for them and I also have in turn have met like-minded parents. They help all children and young adults. Stick ‘n’ Step isn't government funded, they solely rely on charity to progress. There is a massive waiting list and they want to open another centre. I would be so grateful if you would consider them.
3) Marie Curie
Nominated by Puddle Ducks mum Lynsey Shepard.
Marie Curie are there for people living with any terminal illness, and their families. They offer expert care, guidance and support to help them get the most from the time they have left.
Lynsey says, “I would like to nominate Marie Curie. They do tremendous work and offer great support to many people. My brother-in-law is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment and has received great support from them. Even practical help like helping him with a grant that he was entitled to, to buy new clothes because he has lost so much weight”.
4) Kicks Count
Nominated by Puddle Ducks mum Sarah Boyle
Kicks Count is a UK registered charity that aims to empower mums to be with knowledge and confidence throughout their pregnancy.
Sarah has chosen to nominate Kicks Count (formerly Count the Kicks) as it does such invaluable work for pregnant mothers and their family members.
5) Ronald McDonald House, Arrowe Park
Nominated by Rhian Innerd Puddle Ducks customer and mum to Max.
Ronald McDonald House Charities provide free ‘home away from home’ accommodation at specialist children's hospitals across the UK, enabling families to stay close to their child and maintain a degree of normal family life.
Mum Rhian nominated this cause as her son was born 8 weeks early last year. She lived in Ronald McDonald House Arrowe Park for a month whilst her son stayed in the neonatal ward. She said that the care she received during Max’s time there and the ongoing support from the Neomates group afterwards was invaluable.
6) Northern Lights Children's Charity
Nominated by Puddle Ducks mum Vicky Chapman.
I would like to nominate Northern Lights Children's Charity, a local Neston based charity and we are all volunteers who work to take children aged 6-11 from the North West with life-limiting illnesses on a holiday of a lifetime to Lapland to see Santa. Every year we take 20 children along with volunteers and nurses for a 5 day trip to experience the magic of Christmas in Lapland.
Northern Lights celebrate 30 years in 2017 and with the support of events like this hopefully we can continue with our work for many more years. This is a charity very close to my heart as I have been involved with them all my life with members of my family being founding members. I have seen what these children go through whilst having their treatment as part of my career and have seen the joy they get from these holidays a number of times and their reactions still bring tears to my eyes.
7) Claire House
Nominated by Puddle Ducks mum Natasha Williamson
Claire House is at the heart of the community on the Wirral, in Merseyside and Cheshire and provides a home from home hospice for children with life-limiting conditions aged from birth to 23 years old. Despite what people may think of when they hear the term 'children's hospice', it is a vibrant place, full of fun and laughter.
Simply put Claire House offers a safe haven, whether to give a family a well-earned break and their child a fun and memorable stay, or to be an anchor for families facing the worst time of their lives. Every penny that is donated to Claire House supports each and every team to be able to deliver these crucial and much-needed services.
8) Babygrow Appeal
Nominated by Val Williams, Puddle Ducks Grandma to Jacob Heaps
The Babygrow Appeal was launched to raise money to build a new Neonatal Unit that will provide better facilities and a more spacious environment for the babies and their families.
Val says, “I would like to nominate the Babygrow appeal at the Countess of Chester hospital. Our grandson, Jacob Heap, has just started Puddle Ducks. He will be four in December. He was born, a twin, ten weeks early. Sadly his brother died, but Jacob was looked after in the neonatal unit at Chester for six weeks where he received wonderful care. He is now a healthy, happy and very lively four year old!
There are many other children, like Jacob, who owe their lives to the neonatal unit and the Babygrow Appeal enables the work to continue”.
9) Macmillan Nurses
Nominated by Puddle Ducks mum Emily Mackenzie
Right from diagnosis, through your treatment and beyond, MacMillan provides a source of support to those with cancer.
Emily says, I lost my Aunty last week to cancer and the support they have given her and my family over the last 18 months has been exceptional.
10) Ickle Pickles
Nominated by Puddle Ducks mum Liz Sharp
Ickle Pickles are the smallest and sickest babies who need intensive care in Neonatal Units – whether born too soon or with an illness the NHS cares for over 20,000 ickle pickles every year.
Although a national charity, voting for Ickle Pickles would support its work with Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral
11) The Besom
Nominated by Puddle Ducks mum Natalie Walsh
I would like to nominate The Besom charity on the Wirral. They provide a bridge between those who wish to give and those truly in need, including the recently rehoused, those in hostels, single mums and those who cannot afford to eat. Contributions to this charity are implemented in local communities.
12) R Charity
Nominated by Puddle Ducks mum Hayley McShane
This charity is raising funds for the new Royal Hospital, Liverpool to provide specialist equipment above and beyond the NHS promise of care, including 3D mammography imagining equipment for the breast cancer unit which will reduce waiting times and give piece of mind to the patients and their families.
13) Cheshire Down Syndrome Support Group
Nominated by Julie Duff
Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group (CDSSG) is a small local charity supporting families and children with Down’s Syndrome (DS). The charity was established in 2007. It is entirely self-funded and reliant on support from families and volunteers.
Many new parents leave hospital with little or no information about their child’s diagnosis and this can be a frightening experience and very emotional time. CDSSG are continuing to build stronger links with hospitals to provide support for midwives and new parents. Every family’s experiences are different and we work with parents, carers and schools to provide emotional support, practical training and advice to meet their needs.
14) North West Human Milk Bank
Nominated by Emma Savage
I would like to nominate the Northwest Human Milk Bank as the charity for your PJ week please. The milk bank is based in Chester and provides pasteurised, screened donor milk to babies in hospitals throughout the Northwest including the Countess, Arrowe Park, Liverpool Women's and Alder Hey. Donor milk helps to protect premature babies against infection in circumstances when their own mums are unable to supply milk, often due to illness or the stress of having a premature baby. The milk bank has a charitable fund which is used to purchase new equipment such as pasteurisers, freezers and refrigerators to ensure that the service can continue to supply milk.
15) Hospice of the Good Shepherd
Nominated by Philip Crawford
The Hospice of the Good Shepherd is a respected provider of palliative care for residents of Cheshire West and Chester and Deeside providing services free of charge to patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses. It provides an in-patient unit, out-patient services, a day therapy centre and offer complimentary therapies and bereavement support throughout the community. Their dedicated team of staff and healthcare professionals are available to help patients, friends, families and carers through difficult and painful times and provide practical, emotional, social and spiritual support.
At present the Hospice is running its Silver to Gold Appeal is a £2.2 million appeal that will enable them to double the size of their existing buildings and offer specialist care and support to local people in Cheshire West and Chester and Deeside for the next 25 years.