For the past five years, Cessnock Public School has played its part in making the lives of sick children a bit more enjoyable.
The school has handed donated dozens of books and games for the patients at John Hunter Children’s Hospital, using the free items it has earned through book club sales.
This year the school held an out-of-uniform day and a raffle (supported by Bunnings Warehouse Cessnock) and raised $700 for the hospital to buy more books, educational resources and art and craft supplies.
John Hunter Children’s Hospital child life therapist Veronica Oakley visited the school on Thursday for the annual handover, collecting four large boxes of books and games to take back to the hospital.
Ms Oakley said the donations would make the children feel a bit happier about their hospital stay.
“It helps them focus on something besides the four walls of the hospital,” she said.
Cessnock Public School teachers’ aide Gail Tsakissiris has driven the initiative from the beginning.
She was inspired to give back to the hospital where her daughter Blaize was treated for leukaemia as a child.
Blaize – who also attended Cessnock Public School – sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2011, aged 20.
Mrs Tsakissiris said it was important to give the children at the hospital something to keep them occupied and lift their spirits.
She said by involving the school children in the fundraiser, it gives them an insight into what happens in a sick child’s life.
Ms Oakley said the hospital was very appreciative of the school’s support.
“It’s children helping children,” she said.