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Tony Cottee ‘Hammers’ home message of support for children’s ward by Clowns in the Sky

08 November 2017

Health Care

West Ham legend Tony Cottee is patron of the charity Clowns in the Sky, which is dedicated to the welfare of children with brain tumours. He helped deliver gifts and joy to Southend Hospital’s Neptune children’s ward, recently.

Tony said: "I've been patron of Clowns in the Sky for the last six years; I like to get to Southend Hospital at least once a year. It's lovely to be here and put a smile on kids' faces."

And some of those were West Ham fans, such as Victoria Rosebox, 17, from Southend, who was wearing her Hammers top.

Tony was there with money raised by George Mann and the members of The First Essex High 12 Club at Southend. George, President for this year, said: "I was so impressed by work they do that I wanted to help raise money for them and that is what we've done, £432.59 in total."

That money was used for the recent National Play in Hospital Week, which also helped pay for an entertainer, and there was also enough left over to buy some art and craft items for the children on specially provided arts and craft trolleys.

The trolleys are designed to offer stimulation and fun activities during times when children maybe in isolation, or are unable to visit the playroom, with the sensory items proving very popular distraction when children are undergoing tests and treatment.

Mum to Dixie Harris-Sandstrom, aged 3 ½, is Amy Harris-Sandstrom from Leigh. She said: "I think it's fair to say that we are really lucky in Southend as we have a play team who are really unbelievable and the play room makes a real difference as it is all just about play and none of the medical things happening."

Donna Byrne, Development Officer for Clowns in the Sky, said:  "The trolleys are fabulous resources and take the playroom to the child, and are accessible at any time. These trolleys aim to make children's stay in hospital a more pleasant one with the overall aim to put a smile on the face of any child."