Basildon Mayor David Burton-Sampson is partnering with the Polly Parrot Appeal in Basildon Hospital to help provide a comforting space for children and their families staying at the hospital and has also announced donations to support the work of the borough's food banks.

Mayor, Cllr Burton-Sampson said: "I am excited to announce a partnership with The Polly Parrot Appeal at Basildon Hospital which provides an amazing service for families in frequently heart-wrenching situations.

"The Polly Parrot Appeal has launched a project to convert a piece of land between the hospital's children's wards and the Polly Parrot Pad - an area where relatives can get some respite whilst their children are in hospital - into a wonderful outdoor interactive area.

"It will include a sensory garden and sun-protected areas for children and their families who are staying at the hospital so they can have some much needed time outside.

"Our goal is to raise a minimum of £5,000 to support this project."

Clair Grayston, Fundraising coordinator for Basildon Hospital said: "We are extremely grateful to the Mayor for selecting the Polly Parrot Children's services appeal as his chosen charity of the year. The appeal benefits families and children visiting the children's wards and departments at the Hospital. Money donated from the Mayors fund will be used to create a new outdoor garden for the children staying in Hospital, including new flooring, play equipment and a sensory area."

Mayor, Cllr Burton-Sampson said that the borough's food banks are also doing incredible work during these tough times, and that he made the decision alongside the trustees of The Mayor's Charity Trust to donate £500 to each of the following food banks to help support their work:

  • Billericay Food Bank
  • Basildon (Pitsea) Trussell Trust Food Bank
  • Laindon Food Bank - operated by Motivated Minds
  • Lee Chapel North Helping Hands Food Bank
  • Wickford Salvation Army Food Bank

The donations come as part of the Mayor's Community Foundation, which aims to give grants of up to £500 for small projects to organisations the Mayor or the Deputy Mayor have visited during the year. The foundation is part funded by the Basildon Borough Community Lottery established in December last year which helps provide a regular income in to The Mayor's Charity Appeal.

Mayor, Cllr Burton-Sampson said: "In total over the year we have raised £12,404 which as well as supporting our community foundation allowed us to support my chosen charity for last year, The Jo Cox Foundation and has ultimately led to the setting up of a fantastic local offshoot in More in Common Basildon Borough. 

"The group aims to tackle loneliness and social isolation in our borough whilst driving greater community cohesion and also bringing together all the amazing charities and services in our borough in to one easily accessible place. I am incredibly grateful to every one of you who have contributed in one way or another either financially or by supporting or volunteering at one of our events."

Notes to editors

Polly Parrot Appeal:

Polly's pad is a three bedroom House located on the Hospital site funded by the Polly parrot appeal.

The house is accessible from an external gate, is completely separate but families can access the ward when required within minutes. It includes three twin bedrooms all with own access keys and en-suite facilities. It has a kitchen, lounge and garden. The house has its own dedicated housekeeper who supports families. The cost of running the house for one year is £15,000.

The Appeal would like to continue this warm creative and friendly theme into an outside play area. Currently, a tarmac space lies between the playroom and Polly's pad which can be converted into a play area. The area needs a full renovation including a new floor and drainage system.

With the area being a suntrap it will need a sun sail, some new toys and a storage facility for the items, and can incorporate a sensory garden. The cost of the project in total is £20,000, and the Mayor would like to raise a min of £5,000 to aid in the completion of the infrastructure of the project and the completion of a sensory garden.


Published on Friday 12 June 2020