Sarum Children's Ward

Every year tens of thousands of local children receive care and treatment at Salisbury District Hospital, either on Sarum Children’s Ward or as outpatients within the Squire Children’s Outpatient Unit. Some come in for routine operations, others for therapy to help them cope with disabilities and many for chronic illnesses such as cancer and cystic fibrosis.

The Stars Appeal works to ensure children receive the best possible care in a bright, welcoming and child-friendly environment, where they and their families have all the facilities and support that they need.

How the Stars Appeal makes a difference:

  • Maintaining the nationally recognised outstanding child-friendly environment with furnishings, décor and artwork
  • Free accommodation including a dedicated parents’ flat and pull-down beds so parents can stay by their child’s bedside
  • A dedicated Stars Appeal Play Assistant providing play therapy
  • Outdoor play deck for both ward and outpatients
  • Advanced diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation equipment such as monitors and a portable echocardiogram machine
  • Multi-sensory toys and other distractions that make children feel happier
  • Activities such as music, storytelling and performing arts through our Stars Appeal Live project
  • Support for bereaved parents
  • Visits from hospital Chaplains
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Stars Appeal water cooler and beverage trolley
  • Projects that enable children to be treated locally in Salisbury rather than having to travel to other hospitals
  • Specialist training and education for staff
  • Supporting staff wellbeing and morale
  • Stars Appeal distraction boxes for adolescents arriving at hospital in mental health crisis

Archie’s story

21-month-old Archie Hope-Leather spent a number of days on the Children’s Wards at Salisbury Hospital while he recovered from Strep A and pneumonia.

His time on the ward was made much brighter thanks to the specialist sensory equipment, which was made possible by donations and fundraising.

Archie’s mum Bernice says: “The sensory room and equipment have been amazing for Archie as he really likes the lights and sounds which have helped with his development.

When he couldn’t go out of his room for a few days he was able to use the mobile sensory trolley, which gave him something else to do and to focus on instead of looking at the four walls of the room.

It took his mind off where he is and took the medical side out of it, helping to make his time on the Children’s Ward as normal as it can be.”

Archie’s parents were also able to stay right by his side in one of the comfy pulldown beds funded by your donations.

Bernice adds: “It was reassuring for Archie, and for my partner and I to be able to stay with him all the time.”

Florence’s story

When I was 8 years old, I was diagnosed with leukaemia, but me being me I had to have a rare kind called Philadelphia positive which is normally only found in older teenagers. Due to the leukaemia being so rare, I had to have 2 years of intensive chemotherapy, blood transfusions and other procedures. As well as this I had to have regular lumbar punctures to check if the cancerous cells had reached my spinal fluid.

I have a special bead box where I keep my beads of courage. Every single bead in this box was given to me when I had a transfusion, treatment, or procedure. Because the chemotherapy made my immune system very weak, I easily caught colds and infections and became very ill. This meant I would be rushed to Salisbury Hospital where I would often stay for weeks at a time.

Over the 2 years I estimate I have spent over 200 nights at Salisbury Hospital alone! I should put a review on Trip Advisor, I’d certainly give them 5 stars! All the staff, nurses and doctors are amazing and inspirational people.

As you can imagine staying in hospital for such a long time is not great and because my immunity system was so low, I was mostly confined to my room which made it very boring! But the Stars Appeal certainly made things easier.

My room was decorated with vibrant colours and pictures on the wall, the bathroom even had multi-coloured LED lights which were very cool! There was a play lady who would bring me lots of things to do like arts and crafts stuff and as a regular customer I made lots of decorations to dress up my room and the ward for Halloween, Christmas and Easter. There was free Wi-Fi so I could play games, stream movies and Facetime friends and family.

When I was well enough, and if there was no one around, usually at weekends, I used to sneak out to the outdoors play area for some fresh air and to play with the musical instruments.

Either my mum or dad would stay with me in my room on a comfy pull-out bed.

All of this was provided by the Stars Appeal so I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supports the charity for helping me and my family.

Before I was ill, I used to go swimming… a lot! Because of my illness I couldn’t swim for well over 2 years.  I have joined the Warminster and District Swimming Club and took part in my first club competition where I won some medals!

Thank you to all of those who have worked so hard to make me well again.

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