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Local nurseries make fantastic donation to children's ward

Over 300 families across County Durham have taken part in a mile long 'toddle' to raise money for the local hospital's children's ward.

Families and staff from Busy Bears Nursery, Bearpark and Busy Bees in Newton Hall organised a mile long 'Busy Big Toddle' earlier in the year and have raised £5, 771.10 for the Treetops ward at University Hospital of North Durham.

The Busy Big Toddle was a slow stroll of just over a mile from each of the nurseries to a near-by field. Emma Graham from Busy Bears Nursery said: "The theme this year was Animal Fun. We came dressed up as our favourite animals; we had jungle lions, wild cats, fluttering butterflies, busy bees and many farm animals.  Many people turned up for the toddle including mums, dads, grans, grandads, aunties and uncles - it was lovely to see everyone. The children had an opportunity to learn about children less fortunate than themselves and why it's important to help others.

"This year we decided to raise money for the Treetops ward as we often find our families have been supported by Treetops somewhere along the line and always speak so highly of the dedicated team of staff in that unit. This varies from babies born with special requirements to the general high temperatures, little tinkers putting things up their noses… and so on!!  We also wanted to keep it local to a hospital with the A&E department where our families can sometimes end up in (although we try our best to avoid it) with the under 5s a trip to the hospital is all too much of a common experience for families with small children!

"We've also donated a canvas made by some children at the nursery which we hope will go on display in the ward." 

Colin Smith, Matron on the Treetops ward said: "This is a tremendous amount! We are extremely grateful to all the staff and families from the two nurseries who took part in the toddle and have contributed to this fantastic donation. We really would like to say a huge thank you to all those involved as this amount will make a real difference to the ward and our patients. We will be using the money to buy some very special equipment, called an ophthalmoscope. It is the latest equipment for examining most effectively a young patient's eyes, ears and throats and is wall mounted so we hope to be able to provide this equipment in each of our rooms now, thanks to this donation."

Busy Bears and Busy Bees are a family run business with mum Sue Graham managing the Newton Hall based Busy Bees and daughter Emma, managing the Busy Bears nursery at Bearpark.

Published: 18 August 2011

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham