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Exeter support group raise awareness of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis



A campaign to fund the refurbishment of the outdoor play area on Bramble Ward at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital has successfully reached its total thanks to the generosity of local fundraisers.

The team on Bramble have received a total of £32,000 in donations for the play area, which is enough for work to start early in the new year on resurfacing the space and buying new play equipment.

The Outside play area was originally built in the mid 1980’s, and was then funded by the Exeter Lions. The play area is essential for the recovery and well-being of the children and families that have to come to Bramble. It represents a space where children can be outside in the fresh air whilst remaining safe whilst at play. The Exeter Lions have successfully driven a new campaign since the spring of 2014, to provide Bramble Unit with enough funds to replace the tired floor surface, and also to replace some of the items we have outside.

The grand total has just been reached thanks to the hard work of the Exeter Lions; an impressive feat of endurance from local cycling group Otter Wheels who raised £7,000 by cycling 1,000 miles from the Otter Inn in Western near Honiton to Santander in Spain; and a final donation of £10,000 from the Exeter Foundation.

Julian Chadwick, from the Exeter Lions said: “I am really pleased that these recent donations mean that we can, at long last, plan for the refurbishment to begin over the next couple of months. We hope that it will be ready for the children to start using in the spring and I wish to thank everyone for their generosity. The Exeter Lions will still be out and about collecting throughout the Christmastime.”

Lester Curnew, from Otter Wheels, was joined by fellow riders Magalie Barrett, Phillipa Everett-Brown, Pete Bonetta and support driver Graham Chivers on their 12 day sponsored cycle in May and they donated all their proceeds to the Lions’ campaign. Lester said: “all of our kids have spent time on Bramble at some point and so we wanted to do something to help out. Donating to the play area means we have helped build something that will last and help with children’s recovery for years to come.”  

The final boost to the fundraising pot came from the Exeter Foundation, who’s Trustees recently visited the ward to present their donation of £10,000. They were joined by Exeter Chiefs players Will Hooley and Haydn Thomas, and Valerie Lister and Santa from Bicton Gardens, who gave out vouchers for free family entry to the gardens to every young patient as an early Christmas present.

Sarah Haywood, Senior Nurse for Paediatrics at the RD&E, said: “it is so wonderful that we have reached our fundraising total just in time for Christmas, and we are delighted that work can start on the play area refurbishment so soon in the New Year. We would like to thank each and every one who has made a donation to this campaign. The fundraising will still continue to help us purchase more equipment for the play area, and so we would ask anyone considering giving Christmas presents to Bramble this year, to think about donating to our play area fund instead. This will ensure that the area, and play equipment can be enjoyed by our young patients for many years to come.” 

To donate to the Exeter Lions’ Bramble play area campaign please visit         


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