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Birthday party raises £3k for music therapy

Music therapy at Poole Hospital has been handed a £3,000 boost thanks to a fundraising birthday party.

Attendees to the garden party, which took place in June last year, were asked if they could donate to the service instead of bringing gifts.

The party was held for and by Ray Grimmett, along with his friend Ken Whitehead. Ray is a close friend of Andrew Foot, a regular fundraiser to the music therapy service at the hospital, so it was decided that guests would be encouraged to provide a donation.

Music therapy helps children who have significant difficulties with communication and may have autism or physical disabilities. It offers opportunities for interaction, self-expression and skills development regardless of illness, injury or disability.

A total of £1,500 was raised through donations as well as a raffle and a small auction of items brought to the event by guests.

The sum was doubled after travel agent Hays Travel, who Ray is an employee of, agreed to match fund the donation resulting in a combined cheque of £3,000.

“Music therapy gives children with many unfortunate conditions, the chance to express themselves, integrate and communicate with others,” said Ray, who works for the Southbourne branch of the company.

“Andrew is a close friend of mine and I thought it would be a good idea to support the fantastic fundraising that he has done for the service.”

The money will be given to the Child Development Centre (CDC), which manages the service at the hospital and will be used to continue to fund a music therapist and musical instruments.

Music therapy isn’t an NHS-provided service at Poole Hospital but thanks to charitable donations, it is offered free at the hospital to any child who may benefit although it can also be paid for privately.

Rachel Crennell is a freelance music therapist who works one day a week in the CDC and without charitable donations, her job role would not exist.

“I’m extremely grateful for the donation,” said Rachel, who also works across in music therapy across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch.

“Music therapy is essential in helping children who have trouble communicating due to a physical or learning disability.

“I use music to promote interaction, physical and emotional well-being and quality of life with children and I’m delighted that I will be able to continue to support more children and their families.”

If you would like to donate, contact Poole Hospital Charity at or on ext 8449.

Birthday party raises £3k for music therapy at Poole Hospital

(L-R): Ray Grimmett, Dr Sarah Morris, neurodisability consultant, Dr Del Howard, neurodisability consultant, and Rachel Crennell holding the cheque that was presented to the service on 18 December

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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