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Support for Pandalance is a bear necessity

Support for Pandalance is a bear necessity

A unique ambulance designed to make trips to hospital less daunting for young patients facing life-saving treatment has been given a boost by generous Birmingham workers.

Pandalance helps to ease the fears of children from the West Midlands as it carries them to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Norton, Birmingham, and other hospitals throughout the region.

It is kitted out with consoles and games, a DVD player and panda soft toys. Staff even wear panda shirts and each child gets a Sidney the Paramedic panda toy to take home.

The service – provided by the West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) - has been given a donation of &pound350 by staff at employment experts Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG). The good cause was nominated by PPDG employee Hayley Cockerill, a receptionist and administrator at the company’s Edgbaston head office.

Hayley nominated the Pandalance after hearing from friend Lisa Rogers that it now needs to be replaced and efforts are being made to raise the &pound80,000 that is required. Lisa, of the Safety Deposit Centre, took part in a sponsored bike ride and raised &pound413 for the cause.

Hayley said: “I heard about the Pandalance and the fantastic service it provides and was disappointed to learn that it is under threat because it is getting old and needs to be replaced. The NHS doesn’t have the money available to replace it so they are dependent on donations to raise funds and have been staging events such as bike rides and open days.

“This ambulance is the only one in the West Midlands that is solely for the purpose of transporting children to and from hospital for treatment such as dialysis or chemotherapy. It can be very daunting for a child but the Pandalance makes the experience a little less frightening.

“They have raised around &pound13,000 so far but need another &pound70,000, so they’ve still got a long way to go. I’m delighted that Pertemps People Development Group was able to help.”

Elaine Lewis, of the WMAS, said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone at Pertemps People Development Group for their generosity. Pandalance is a very important service which, with the support of businesses and people in the community, we are determined to keep on the road.”

PPDG’s total donations to charities and good causes through its award winning payroll-giving scheme recently broke the &pound150,000 barrier. Around two thirds of employees are involved in payroll deductions that benefit others less fortunate in the community.


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