Local children with epilepsy were treated to a Christmas party thanks to local Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH) nurse Kirsten McHale and her dedicated team.
Over 100 children, parents and helpers attended the party at the Charis Centre, Crawley, and were even visited by Santa Clause who handed out presents. Before Santa’s arrival, the children were kept entertained with Christmas food, party games and a bouncy castle.
The party is part of a series of events that Kirsten and her colleagues arrange to bring fun and joy to the 400 people they support. While putting a smile on the children’s faces, the events also help them and their families make friends and build support networks.
Kirsten, from Turners Hill, West Sussex, was recently honoured at the annual SASH Star Awards where she was shortlisted for Frontline Employee of the Year. She said: “This party is an opportunity to bring all the families on my caseload together. It’s vital for me that families can build an epilepsy support network between themselves so they don’t feel so isolated. I am overwhelmed year on year by the gratitude I receive from the families and the young people I support, however I couldn’t do any of it without my trusty team of helpers, who are always quick to throw on an elf costume and give up their time to support me.”
Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “I am delighted that so many people were able to enjoy the day. We are always looking to provide the very best experience for our patients and Kirsten and the team do a fantastic job, putting a smile on lots of faces.”
Kirsten, her family and her colleagues raise money through SASH Charity to fund the events.