A NEW sensory room and play area has been opened at the Countess of Chester Hospital after a mammoth fundraising effort by a Flintshire dad.
The hospital launched an appeal to raise the funds to create an interactive play area and upgrade the sensory room to help young patients with special needs.
Gavin Jones, from Connah’s Quay, raised more than £7,000 towards the appeal with the support of his family and friends and employers Airbus, who provided match funding.
Funds raised included sponsorship of Gavin’s bike ride from Fylton to Hawarden Airbus.
Fellow Airbus employees Becky Wright and Alison Lloyd also swam the English Channel, while Sarah Jones, Gavin’s sister, swam Lake Windermere for the appeal.
Nick Goold, the brother of play specialist Lynnette Goold, raised more than £1,200 from a parachute jump and the trustees from Mrs T A Briggs Charitable Will Trust donated £5,000 to the project.
Gavin’s fundraising drive was spurred on by the experiences of he and wife Karen, whose son Aaron who has cerebral palsy and enjoys the stimulation from his regular sessions at the hospital.
Lynette said: “We are delighted that in the sensory room we are now able to provide one-to-one multi-sensory sessions for children of all abilities.
“This will particularly benefit our long-term and regular patients who require extra support and stimulation.
“And we now have somewhere parents can let their toddlers and babies play freely without excluding them from the social benefits of being in the playroom and interacting with children of all ages.”
Ngozi Ikoku, trust and legacy fundraiser for the hospital charity, said: “The commitment, enthusiasm, bravery, passion and sheer determination of all those involved in realising this project has been astonishing.
“The hospital would like to thank all those who generously supported the appeal and made donations, more than £19,000 was raised.”