A LOCAL 11-year-old has taken it upon herself to improve the emergency room experience for youngsters.
After cutting open her thumb earlier this year, Emily Nicholson wound up a patient in Tamworth hospital’s emergency room.
While she had spent many hours in the children’s ward visiting her grandmother, who was a nurse there, the emergency department was a painful and scary place, she said.
“The kids’ ward gets a lot of donations, toys and things like that, but the emergency room is sort of run-down,” Emily said.
Last term the St Edward’s Year 6 student decided she wanted to raise money to buy the emergency department at least two pain-control toys called Buzzy Bees. The colourful bee-shaped, palm-sized device is attached to the skin and emits a cold sensation, along with vibrations, to decrease minor sharp pains, such as needle jabs.
She also hopes to purchase matching Bee-Stractors, a list of cards that reduce pain through distraction. Each Buzzy Bee costs about $234.
So Emily pounded the pavement to rustle up donations and prizes for a raffle and organised a fundraising bowls day to be held at the West Tamworth Sports and Bowling Club, Belmore St, tomorrow.
Depending on the number of teams that enter, the day may take the form of a round-robin.
But whatever happens, there will be trophies for first, second and third, and keyrings and pens for sportsmanship.
The kind-hearted student has raised about $124 so far through donations and raffle tickets sales but hopes to reach her target of $1000 through proceeds from the bowls day.
Emily’s mum, Mel, said she was “a bit stunned” when her daughter first came to her with the idea.
“I said ‘That’s a big thing’, and she said, ‘I can do it, mum’. We’re very proud,” she said.
“She decided last term and started doing the organising and chasing prizes ... and this term it’s all hands on deck.”
Mrs Nicholson thanked the business community for their generosity – donating 15 prizes to the cause – and also praised the school, which had offered Emily its “full support”, she said.
Raffle prizes will be drawn on the day and a barbecue will stave off any hunger pains, as the event kicks off at 9am. The cost of entry is $10.