Week 14 – Monday 30th January 2012 – The last few days


Good morning all.

Had a busy weekend as Matt was 13 yesterday – gosh a tiny teenager but to think how far he has come. Big celebrations for us I can tell you.

I would just like to say what a pleasure it has been, to be have been able to do much more for CHA over the last 3 months due to the kindness of my work, RSA, allowing me to have a 3 month secondment. I really do feel I have made a difference. I know and you know I put in all kinds of hours per week anyway as I have such a passion for doing my best to help others.

Today I will start with a little recap of all that I have managed to do with the help and support of RSA. Without the secondment lots of it would not have been done especially daytime meetings.

On my first day I met with a manger of Alder Hey over ICU, HDU, K2 critical burns and 01 this definitely would not have been possible without secondment as I could not get to a daytime meeting. Since then, Ian the manager has really taken an interest in what we do and even asks his deputy Jamie to come to our monthly meetings and our relaunch, which he has been doing.

I have also worked at McHouse at Alder Hey, cleaned bedrooms, done ironing, help prepare a Christmas dinner for families staying there too and generally help out.

Myself and Lisa hosted a Charity Ball

We took families to Euro Disney

I have updated with fresh info and pics notice boards at both Alder Hey and new Manchester Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. I have had branch meetings in Liverpool and attended meetings in Manchester too. I organised a Christmas Party at Alder Hey. I organised a Christmas Grotto in Whiston (already been invited back to do again this yr) and I have done a charity shop .

I did Hook-a-Duck in Jewish school locally at their Chanukah fair (also been invited back when they do this year’s fundraiser in summer and Christmas). I have done prize bingo. I have done monthly branch meetings supporting families who come.

We got in The local press (a parent put a Thank You in Echo for Disney trip). We got in the Jewish Telegraph for attending Chanukah fair. We have done relaunches at both hospitals (providing an awareness, who we are, where we are).

I have made up info packs for families and left at Alder Hey so even when I am not around they can be given to parents. We have done trips to Manchester Science Museum, roller skating and more planned. We have done Taking CHA Forward meetings. I have sorted out theatre tickets with credit we have had for a year and a half due to not being able to use during the past 18 months and finding time to sort. Been around the hospital and met staff and some parents.

So onto 2012 and here is what I have already organised before I return to work:

  • Swimming in Feb.
  • Pancake party at Alder Hey in Feb.
  • Theatre trip in March.
  • 5 weeks at the charity shops.
  • Dinner dance in May venue sorted awaiting final arrangements.
  • Ball of Hearts Nov 2012 all sorted here. Contracts signed and deposit paid.
  • Christmas Party and entertainment for Alder Hey (that’s something being that organised).
  • I have arranged another Taking CHA Forward for April.
  • I have also managed to secure Barclays to take us on again in 2012. I have been told I will be allocated a team. I will be having a meeting with them tomorrow so update you on that when I know more.
  • Received £500 donation from RSA as although I am not in the office my friends know what I am doing and put CHA forward for an award, how good is that.
  • Today I received an email confirming I have been successful with my application for 60 tickets to Alton towers so a great day out we will have with them.
  • Well now I am off to McHouse for today and tomorrow.  I am at meeting with Barclays in morning and I will be around Alder Hey in the afternoon.

I am sure you will agree that’s quite a lot done and planned. I do hope to be able to build on this in the future with the support of RSA – back to work on Wed. It’s been a pleasure.

See you all soon

Val Frew
A very proud volunteer of CHA x

Week 13 – 23rd January 2012


Hi Everyone,

Week 13, how time has flown by.

This week…

Monday 23rd January 2012

Morning, I need to drop stuff off at storage unit as my car is packed. Only a few weeks away till our 1st charity shop this year. Afternoon, I have meetings at 3 hotels in Manchester, checking possible place for our dinner dance this year in May.

I have sorted Ball out for this year, it will be Hilton Hotel, Liverpool on 17th NOV – I have signed contracts so all in order there.

Tuesday 24th January 2012

Morning, I will drop off cheque deposit. Afternoon, I want to finish notice boards on K2. I have already started them but want them finished and looking good. I have also managed to take over another unused notice board. Staff on K2 said it’s fine so until I am told to take it down we might as well use it. Saves looking at a blank space. I also want to get some up-to-date pics and info ready for change over in clinic area. I am also waiting for a new notice board to go up as we have to give one back that hospital now need to use, but that’s not a problem. Nice to keep info fresh.

Wednesday 25th January 2012

Working in McHouse and I would like to update notice board there too time permitting.

Thursday 26th January 2012

Morning, in McHouse. Evening, Exec meeting in Manchester.

Friday 27th January 2012

Day off.

Saturday 28th January 2012

Taking CHA Forward meeting in Liverpool.

Sunday 29th January 2012

Day off.

I see Cecilia from CHF has been following my blog which is great and I went to a venue to check out possible for our our ball and dinner dance. Lady we met informed me she had been checking our website to see a bit more about us and read my blog in full.

If anyone needs me to do anything just let me know.

See you all soon,

Val Frew
A very proud volunteer of CHA

Week 12 – 16th January 2012


Hi Everyone,

Hope you enjoyed the weekend.

Next week’s plans….

Monday 16th January 2012

Morning – I have to go get a large amount of books, 300 to be collected and I need to do some recycling. Also I need to go and collect prizes for prize bingo.

Evening – prize bingo and I have had to sort out new venue for now as McHouse having a refit, so it will be in Whiston.

Tuesday 17th January 2012

On ward K2 with Lorna, Alder Hey.

Wednesday 18th January 2012

In morning I need to go to storage and get Hook a Duck stall for 01 clinic. All afternoon, meeting families and after that we are taking families from CHA for a meal at Frankie and Benny’s, a social event.

Thursday 19th January 2012

On ward K2 with Lorna, Alder Hey.

Friday 20th January 2012

Day off

Saturday 21st January 2012

Morning, we have a Trustee meeting

Sunday 22nd January 2012

Day off


Alder Hey have been delighted I have been around to attending meetings. My presence at the meeting helps give a family insight and view and, when they need family input, I am in a position to get info from families of CHA and share with management. Ian’s assistant Jamie also attended our branch meeting last week, which was good.

See you all soon.

Val Frew
A very proud volunteer of CHA

Week 11 – 9th January 2012


Hi Everyone,

Here is next week’s secondment plans. Busy week ahead.

Monday 9th January 2012

Morning: going to view Hilton Hotel, Liverpool as a possible venue for Ball / Dinner Dance.

Afternoon: I will be at a meeting in Manchester Children’s for a North West Children’s congenital heart network. This is a new meeting I have been asked to join by Alder Hey’s cardiac general manager.

Tuesday 10th January 2012

Day off

Wednesday 11th January 2012

Day off – Matthew’s op

Thursday 12th January 2012

Hope this will be a day I can start being a ward buddy with Lorna. My application has been approved.

Friday 13th January 2012

Going to view venues for Ball / Dinner Dance. Aintree race course, Town Hall Liverpool, Crowne Plaza Liverpool, Catholic Cathedral Liverpool.

Saturday 14th January 2012

Book sale in Ormskirk market, fundraising plus we are seen in the community.

Sunday 15th January 2012

Roller skating in Stockport – family day out.

Again fabulous that I have this secondment or I would not be able to get all this done and in order.

See you all soon.

Val Frew
A very proud volunteer of CHA

Week 10 – 2nd January 2012


Hi Everyone,

Hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year. Well now we are in the last few weeks of my secondment. This week’s plan is:

Monday 2nd January 2012

Bank Holiday.

Tuesday 3rd January 2012

Today I will have to go for blood test first as this is part of the CRB check now.

  • My CRB form I will hand in at Alder Hey today. (Anne, Gill Mc is seeing if she can get extra 2 (1 for you and 1 for Michele C).
  • I need to make some phone calls to check out venues for Dinner Dance in May and Ball in Nov.
  • I need to check menus from emails I already have for some venues. Hopefully by tomorrow I will have more to look at too.
  • I need to do follow up letters to people who still owe money for Auction items from our Ball.
  • I need to check availability for market stall for some book sales in 2012.

Wednesday 4th January 2012

Few hrs Mchouse and few hours at Alder Hey

Thursday 5th January 2012

I am working at Mchouse and in the evening it is my Liverpool branch meeting.

Friday 6th January 2012

I have an appointment at Empire Theatre Liverpool to check what we can use our credit on in 2012 if you remember back when I booked Chitty Chitty Bang Bang I was not happy with seating and we still have a £200 credit. Last year we could not use as every time I tried they kept saying we couldn’t use against shows I was looking at.

I will be looking into where we can do a first aid course and hoping to sort that out soon.

I want to find out more about auction houses. I have a few things in storage that may or may not be worth a bit more than we would get in charity shop. Worth looking into.

See some of you this week and some of you next week,

Val Frew
A very proud volunteer of CHA

Week 9 – 26th December 2011


Got photos online showing what I’ve been up to…. here.

This week at Alder Hey I met 2 families so was able to briefly talk to them. 1 family raised some funds for us but does not want to join just yet but know where we are and I gave her my tele number in case she wants a chat.

Gill has commented on how good it is having me around so glad it is working.

Next week plans:

Mon – Bank hols
Tue – Bank hols
Wed – Mchouse

I have left Thurs and Fri open can I do anything for anyone? Do you need me to be anywhere? If not I will go to Alder Hey and just be around to meet families.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Val Frew
A very proud volunteer of CHA

Week 8 – 19th December 2011


Last week I worked today at Ormskirk market, what a disaster couldn’t believe how empty it was and weather awful. 8 1/2 hrs today with travelling time.

Sunday 18th December 2011

I am doing hook a duck at local school 5 hrs.

Monday 19th December 2011

2 x pick ups in Liverpool as people want stuff out of their homes before Christmas – this is for our next shop. Around about 1 1/2hrs.

Tuesday 20th December 2011

I want to go and print stuff off that we need to put into bags that Gill Mc would find useful for in patients and day patients. Gill wants me to make up 2 slightly different bags with things in she thinks families might find useful and info on CHA. I will need to down loads pdf from cha web and I will input note pads for next to your phone and pens they will be done in our carrier bags. I will have Tommy and Tina colouring in pictures put in and I need to do a check of what newsletters we need printing again for clinic make sure they are up to date and plenty of them ready for our re launch in Jan. (Still awaiting confirmation from Ian ok for this to go ahead on date we discussed). I hope to be able to print these off from Alder Hey if not I might need to pop into my office and do them from there if systems will allow. Maybe I could take my laptop and connect to a printer will check this out. This maybe around 3-4 hrs.

Wednesday 21st December 2011

Mchouse doing preparation work for an evening meal. We the volunteers are cooking an evening meal for families who will be staying at Mchouse. I will also help with bedroom cleaning and ironing. Estimate 5hrs.

Thursday 22nd December 2011

I hope to be doing my ward buddy with Laura on K2.

That’s it for this week.

Happy Christmas

Val Frew
A very proud volunteer of CHA

Week 7 – 12th December 2011


Just a reminder I am on hols this week. I still have a few things to do this week that were already in my diary so I will be doing them.

Monday 12th December 2011

Tonight I have prize bingo.

Saturday 17th December 2011

Awaiting confirmation if we have a book stall in Ormskirk, if so I will do that Sunday – we have been invited to a school in my area to do hook a duck were I will be doing that as well this week.

See you all soon.

Val Frew
A very proud volunteer of CHA

Update: just to let you know I have had confirmation we do have a market stall on Sat at Ormskirk so I will be doing that on Sat this week.

Week 6 – 5th December 2011


Hope you are all well.

I will start with our Euro Disney trip at the weekend. It was fantastic except for the cold and rain. We flew out Friday morning and it was good everyone showed up either early or right on time. We were met at the airport by an operations manager and were shown where to check in . After that we were shown to our room in the airport I had booked.

It was great for all of us to be together so we could meet each other and discuss a few plans for weekend. Security came to our room and went through security briefing and explained to the kids what to expect if the alarm when off during security scanning. We had photo’s taken and the staff loved seeing the kids. They made us very welcome and stayed with us right until we were on board, 1 manager even got on with us and made sure we were all happy. Did I mention the VIP boarding they gave us too? Kids were delighted with the fact that they and their family’s got to board before all other passengers and could choose their seats. The front of the aeroplane was filled with us.

When there we had breakfast together and evening meal on Sat together. We said hello to one another if we saw each other out and about and some of us met in the bar in the evening for a drink and chat and a catch up. (some of the families are a bad influence on me I was to be found in the bar each night and sometime till 12.45), but it was lovely.

Weather as expected was very wet and cold but we just had to wrap up and grin and bear it. Kids loved the characters and we had a character breakfast. They loved the rides as did I. The bonus on taking such a big group away was that if anyone was in the queue before me if I was on my own I would queue jump because after all I was with that family. Also I got to see a show from a good vantage point as a family with child in wheelchair shouted me when they saw me so I just went and sat by them and didn’t get moved, but there were spaced if anyone needed them in disabled spec or I would have moved,.

The feedback was great and I have asked family’s to share there experience with us and photo’s. Michele I have asked them to send direct to you by end of this week. can you set up a folder to keep them in and then I can see feedback in writing and pics. Then we will need to get pics on web and a newsletter done.

We finally got home around 12.30am as delays on plane due to thunder storms here in Liverpool and hailstones. So planes could not fly back to Liverpool for a while then we needed to get a crew as the others had no flying hours left. I think when we see the feedback we will all agree that the trip was well worth doing and families who had not met before met and bonded and shared there story’s and experiences. Our aim was to get family’s together, have a great time and bond. I definitely feel this was achieved and I know I have made some new friends this weekend.

Today should be the start of my official holidays from work however I have so much to do this week that if ok with everyone I will postpone till next week. Any objections please let me know.

Monday 5th December 2011

Today I had to go to storage and tidy up in there as last Thursday when we finished shop I just had to more or less throw stuff back in as I also had a branch meeting at Alder Hey I needed to do Thursday night. We made about £550 in shop. not bad considering it wasn’t a full week and last wed I had to drive there via Runcorn bridge as tunnels were closed so didn’t open till 10am and closed at 2.45 as didn’t want to get stuck in traffic. on wed if it had not been for my secondment shop would not have been open as my helpers don’t drive and no trains either so they would not have been able to get there. Today I also done pick up’s from 3 peoples houses.

Tomorrow I will have a day off. ( meeting I was going to in Birmingham has been cancelled till Feb).

Wednesday 7th December 2011

I have a meeting at Alder hey at Mchouse and a few charities meet at this meeting. Rep’s from Mchouse, Imagine appeal,Chics and wrvs meet. This is the first meeting this year I will be able to attend as usually I take a days holiday from work but with my nan needing so many hospital appointments this year I have been using my days holidays to take her so didn’t have enough left to go to the other meetings this year, as a direct result of my secondment I will be able to attend, after this I will stay at Mchouse and help around there for a few hours.

Thursday 8th December 2011

I need to do preparation work for our grotto on sat and I need to wrap presents from Santa and do a little bit of decorating. I also need to get prizes ready for our hook a duck and tombola stalls.

Friday 9th December 2011

I need to bake some cakes for sat and I need to go shopping for bingo prizes as prize bingo next Monday. I will still do that even though on hols as don’t want to let our supporters down

Saturday 10th December 2011

I have our Christmas grotto in Whiston. I can do this as a direct result of secondment as if I wasn’t on secondment I would be in work as my Saturday in.

Sunday 11th December 2011

I have our Christmas party in Alder hey.

So as you can see another busy week for me, not that I mind, I enjoy doing this.

I have had an email from Alder Hey and they are going to look at me being a buddy on K2 with Lorna – let you know when that starts, and what it entails.

Val Frew
A very proud volunteer of CHA

Week 5 – 28th November 2011


Well next week is both a busy week and a very exciting week.

Monday 28th November 2011

We have charity shop. Thanks to everyone who has donated and keep any unwanted items comming. I will have the shop open Monday – Thursday. 9.30 – 4 (just 4 days, but on Thursday we need to close around 1pm so i can clear shop).

I will pick up volunteers in the mornings so will probably leave home around 8.40am and will drop them off to so probably home around 5pm ish.

Thursday 1st December 2011

I also have Liverpool branch meeting 7.30pm – 9.30pm (will be wrapping this up around 9.15 as early start on Fri).

Friday 2nd December 2011

We are off to Euro Disney with families of CHA. What a trip this will be.

Val Frew
A very proud volunteer of CHA