SWITCHED ON: Allie and Erica with their dad Mark Robinson in the ward where children can now watch television for free, thanks to the girls’ grandfather Steve Robinson (back row, on right), Our Kids and local business owners including Frank Vanz (also pictured).
SWITCHED ON: Allie and Erica with their dad Mark Robinson in the ward where children can now watch television for free, thanks to the girls’ grandfather Steve Robinson (back row, on right), Our Kids and local business owners including Frank Vanz (also pictured). Marc Stapelberg

Businesses asked to offer $600 sponsorship for kids' ward

OVER the last two and a half years, Allie Robinson, 4, has spent a lot of time in Lismore Base Hospital's Children's Ward.

Since being diagnosed with leukemia just before Christmas in 2011, Allie has spent up to two weeks at a time in the hospital for treatment.

Like many children her age, entertainment is essential.

Television shows like Peppa Pig, Sesame Street and Giggle and Hoot not only provide entertainment, but a distraction from her illness.

When Steve Robinson visited his granddaughter Allie in hospital, he saw a need for free entertainment.

"The thing I found very disappointing was the roof leaked, there was a bucket in the room filled with water and that was making things very low," he said.

"I asked them to turn the TV on and then the nurse said 'they don't work'.

"It was then, following up from that, I came up with the idea to see if we could get the TVs sponsored."

The children's ward TVs currently cost $1 a day to run - a price discounted by contractor Hills Health Solutions from $9 a day.

Mr Robinson came up with the idea that if 12 businesses paid $600 a year, it would provide 24/7 access for 12 months of TV viewing for all the children who came into the ward.

Children's ward nurse unit manager Kerry Byrne said the sponsored TVs would give the children some entertainment and distraction during the long days in hospital.

Allie's dad Mark Robinson said a lot of the children had favourite TV shows that would help them to stave off hospital boredom.

Eight businesses have signed up: Southside Truck Centre, Frank Vanz Tyre Company, Vecchiet Small Goods, AWE Engineering, Aussie Wide Builders, Laurie Predebon Truck Repairs, Summerland Tools and Joe and Patrizia Battaglia.

Can you help?

OUR KIDS, which is organising the fundraising, is still looking for four more business to get on board. Anyone interested in sponsoring a television can contact Our Kids co-ordinator Rebekka Battista on 6620 2705 or 0438 417 085.

Each TV will have a plaque recognising the individuals and businesses sponsoring it.



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