Volunteers wanted to spread some magic

No-one knows toys like children.

Giving gives to children in hospital
Giving gives to children in hospital

So when mum-of-two Hannah Clark took over at a charity that gives sick children a gift while in hospital, she knew who her shopping helpers could be.

Little Daisy (6) and Ollie (3) have a great time keeping their mum right when it comes to picking out presents that will put a smile on children’s faces.

As the new charity manager at Fairy Box, Hannah knows how important that little bit of joy and magic can be.

Hannah said: “Fairy Box is all about making a stay in hospital that little bit better for children.

“For whatever reason children are in hospital, going to the Fairy Box which is packed with toys and picking out a gift can make the experience better.

“It becomes something they look forward to. For some children, they don’t remember being in hospital but they remember the Fairy Box.

“My two children love helping me to pick things – from Paw Patrol and My Little Pony to colouring pads, games and books. They are the best people to ask about toys.”

And the toy shopping won’t be stopping as Fairy Box has plans to extend into major hospitals across the country including Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Now it needs local volunteers in the surrounding areas to wield some magic.

The charity was created in 2000 by Rosie Butler and her daughter Aimee who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of five.

Over the next 10 years, the mother and daughter team from Dundee took Fairy Boxes to hospitals all over the country.

Earlier this year, the trustees decided to retire and the charity passed to the ARCHIE Foundation, a family of separate charitable funds aiming to improve children’s healthcare.

Fairy Box now has relaunched with a new look but is keeping the same aims and ideals.

A Fairy Box is a bright pink ottoman size tub filled to the brim with goodies.

The box is then put on wheels and wheelied round the wards. Children can dip into the box as often as they need and the toys are theirs to keep.

There are already Fairy Boxes at the Highland Children’s Unit in Inverness and Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.

Hundreds of toys have been distributed since the charity relaunched and the team make regular visits to keep the boxes topped up.

And there are also plans to extend the service to Tayside Children’s Hospital at Ninewells in Dundee, Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow Children’s Hospital and Borders General Hospital.

Now the fund is looking for supporters, fundraisers and volunteers to help spread a little bit of joy to children in hospital.

Hannah (28) from Dundee said: “We want to give as many children in hospital as possible the chance to choose a gift from the Fairy Box. We rely on donations to buy new books, toys, DVDs and games to make sure each box is fully stocked and we’re looking for supporters, volunteers and fundraisers all over the country to help us reach as many children as we can.

“We need people to organise local fundraisers and local businesses to take collection tins.

“But there are lots of ways people can support Fairy Box. You can donate money – £10 buys a toy; or you can volunteer at events, or to process donations and keep boxes restocked.

“You could set up a Fairy Box group in your area to support our work or host a fundraising event.

“However you choose to support Fairy Box, you will bring a touch of magic to children in hospital.”

David Cunningham, ARCHIE chief executive said: “We are delighted by the welcome Fairy Box is receiving. It is a wonderfully simple idea which brings a bit of magic and sparkle into young children’s lives for being brave.

“We’d would love to see a Fairy Box in every children’s ward in Scotland initially, then in time spread the magic to wherever children receive healthcare treatment and a visit from the fairies can help them through tougher times.

“We can’t do this without the public’s help and we are incredibly grateful for their generous support.”

Anyone interested in supporting the charity can email [email protected] or see the Facebook page @FairyBoxCharity.