Julie Rothwell, of Middleton,
​​​​with some of her donated books.

HUNDREDS of books, Easter eggs and hampers have been donated to poorly children at The Royal Oldham Hospital thanks to support from the local community.

Local businesses and community groups have rallied round to support the children’s unit at the hospital in the run up to Easter.

More than 70 books have been donated by two Independent Usborne Organisers.

Lorna Ryan of Failsworth was inspired to donate 24 books, games and activities after her daughter Isabelle, four, was a patient at the hospital last November after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Lorna, of Izzy Bizzy’s Book Club, said: “When we were staying on the ward, the play trolley coming around was always a great part of the day for us, which is why we wanted to donate these books, games and activities for other children.”

Julie Rothwell, of Middleton, set up an online fundraiser, exceeding her original £200 target, raising £310.

Julie set up her own book business called Rosie Loves to Read during lockdown last year. She has contributed to the donations, meaning more than £400-worth of books have been donated – totalling 50 books and eight Easter hampers, which include books and chocolate treats.

Julie, who also works at Middleton Technology School, said: “I am passionate about books, mental health and children, so it made sense to combine them all and support my local children’s ward. I’m bringing these books into a child’s life when they are going through a tough time so we can hopefully engage and inspire them as part of their journey back to feeling better. If it helps take their minds off whatever they are going through, then I will be happy.”

Julie donated the colourful and interactive books for babies and children to staff today (2 April), thanks to support from NorthCare Charity.

The NHS charity supports The Royal Oldham Hospital by funding innovative equipment, education, research and welfare support.

The charity has also supported the ward with donations of Easter eggs, treats and games from Asda in Shaw, Sainsbury’s in Oldham, Middleton Shopping Centre, Westgrove Ltd, AFC Oldham, Balloon Magic and Team Hill Charitable Trust.

Dave Nichols from NorthCare Charity said: “A massive thank you to Julie, Lorna and everyone who has supported the children’s ward. These donations will make a big difference to the children who find themselves in hospital over Easter and beyond. Kind donations like these mean we can help staff go beyond what the NHS can provide to make a child’s stay that bit more comfortable when in hospital.”