Christian teen’s gift to Norwich sick children

Faith BlanchA Norwich teenager from Oak Grove Chapel will be spending Christmas Eve giving out presents that she has fundraised to buy for patients in the children’s ward at a Norwich hospital after being inspired to do something to brighten up their Christmas.

This Christmas Eve 15 year old Faith Blanch (pictured), a member of Oak Grove Chapel’s youth group, is on a mission to brighten the days of children on the children’s ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by raising funds to give each child a gift as well as communal toys and more.  

And after seeing the amazing work on the ward Faith now wants to become a paediatric nurse herself.

Faith’s inspiration for her fundraising mission came during the prayer time of a Sunday night ‘Freshers’ youth group meeting in September.  The teenager shared that she felt God was challenging her to do something for children in hospital at Christmas.

Faith remembers: “I had a vision of me making a child laugh with a toy gift during a festive holiday. This turned into an idea I was very excited about. My excitement grew until I was more excited than I had ever been in my entire life. This was before I had even contacted the ward!”

With her birthday coming up Faith took the first step of asking for WH Smith vouchers for birthday presents.

Faith explained: “I thought that a small gift for each child might brighten up their day, and I came to the conclusion that I could buy each child a WH Smith gift voucher as there is a WH Smith shop in the [Norfolk and Norwich] Hospital. On the [Buxton] ward, there is a playroom filled with toys and books for the children to play with, but over time the toys get worn out and broken with the many children using them.”  

Faith has experience of the hospital from when a close family member spent a period of time in Buxton Ward. 

Faith said: “I was able to see some of the amazing work being done. The nurses always arrived early and left late, and were always helping patients and family members. They were always kind and patient even though their jobs are very stressful.

“Christmas is time to be spent celebrating with family and it would be awful to be stuck in hospital over the holiday. I do feel like this is something God wants me to.” 

Following her birthday Faith organised a cake sale at Oak Grove Chapel to raise funds and awareness of the fact that she wanted to give a gift to all 33 children on the Buxton Ward. The church dug deep and raised more than she needed but Faith continued to fundraise to see what else she could provide.

Faith has already raised nearly £500 and is continuing to work hard.  She said: “Now that I have raised enough money for the vouchers, I am aiming to raise enough money for the ward to buy expensive Lego blocks that will be popular with the kids. If I raise enough for the blocks I will begin to fundraise for equipment that is always needed on the ward e.g. an apnoea monitor.”

Peter Young, Community Youth Worker at Oak Grove Chapel said: “Faith has inspired me as a leader and many of our young people to support and I am truly amazed and inspired at her zeal to carry on and on.”

Faith said: “I kept getting little ideas pop into my head and everything is falling into place without problems.  Anything can happen with God’s will. I feel like it is God’s plan for me to work with children when I am older, and with the amazing work I have seen on the ward, I have been inspired to be a children's nurse.”

If you would like to donate to Faith’s cause please make a cheque payable to “The Oak Grove Trust” in an envelope labelled ‘FAO: Peter Young re Buxton Ward’ and send to Oak Grove Trust, 70 Catton Grove Road Norwich, Norfolk NR3 3NT.

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