Cramlington-based Moody Logistics and Storage have raised £21,000 for the Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation. The money will fund an extra session per week for the ‘Clown Doctors’ programme which provides child-centred play therapy for young patients in the Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH) at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle.

The family-run north east transport and logistics firm, which was founded in 1947, nominated the GNCH Foundation as their chosen charity for 2017 as part of their 70th Anniversary celebrations. Their Platinum Ball held at the Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel in June raised £18,000 which, with an additional £3,000 through Barclays Matched Funding Scheme, brought the total to a staggering £21,000.

The Clown Doctors programme is now in its eleventh year and recognises that the implications for children of being in hospital are far wider than simply those relating to medical conditions. Young patients can sometimes feel frightened, lonely, bored or confused; as well as coping with illness, they are in a new place, away from home, which is filled with unknown people, medical equipment and sometimes distressing sights which healthy children do not have to experience. The Clown Doctors use performing arts such as storytelling, music, improvisation and clowning to engage the children and to help them come to terms with their situation using humour and play.

The Clown Doctors rely totally on charitable funding for their service which is currently provided at the Freeman Hospital (through the Children’s Heart Unit Fund – CHUF) and the Sunderland Royal Infirmary and GNCH (currently through the Children’s Foundation).  Thanks to the Moody donation, the additional funding from the GNCH Foundation will increase their involvement at the GNCH to two sessions per week for the next year.

Today Co-Chairman, Alan Moody, Group Managing Director, Caroline Moody, Operations Director, Richard Moody and Engineering Director, Gavin Cape visited the GNCH to present their cheque to Directorate Manager for Children’s Services, Jane Melvin and Matron, Helga Charters. They were joined by 18-tonne truck ‘Geordie Delight’, the newest addition to the Moody fleet named by 9-year old Daisy Mae Fairs earlier this year. Daisy entered a competition run by Moody whilst a patient at the GNCH.  Also in attendance were Nuritza Daghlian, Programme Manager for the Clown Doctors and Dr Johan Cherrywolf (aka Paddy O’Connor) one of the Clown Doctors who will be funded through the Moody donation to the GNCH Foundation.

Speaking at today’s presentation Caroline Moody, Group Managing Director of Moody Logistics and Storage, said:  “Our Platinum Ball was a huge success as not only did we exceed our expectations by raising £21,000 for our Charity of the Year, but we were able to bring together a lot of friends, customers and business contacts who have supported us over the last 70 years. It was lovely to see them all and we are so grateful for their generous support of our chosen charity.

“My father Alan, who is Chairman of the business, was initially a supporter of the former ‘Newcastle Children’s Hospital Charity’ before it merged with the Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation, so when we were looking for a good cause to work with during our Anniversary year it seemed appropriate to choose the GNCH Foundation, which does such fantastic work for children and their families and carers from all over the northern region“.

Nuritza Daghlian, Project Manager for the Clown Doctors, expressed her delight at Moody’s generosity and the support from the Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation:

“Thanks to them both, the Clown Doctors will now be able to visit many more young people who are undergoing medical treatment in Newcastle, supporting them and their families through what can be the most challenging of circumstances. In doing so, we hope to raise many more smiles along the way and continue to provide a welcome distraction from the situations in which these children find themselves.”