NEARLY £12,200 has been raised to make little ones’ visits to the Great Western Hospital as comfortable as possible, thanks to the Making It Better appeal.

Since the launch in August of the Adver’s campaign for a children’s section of the A&E department generous Swindonians have donated £12,177 towards iPads, toys and a refreshment stand for young patients.

The equipment will be placed at the hospital’s new emergency ward ready for its official opening at the end of the month.

Building work began last summer on the creation of a dedicated children’s A&E department, as well as a complete redesign of the Emergency Department.

The major revamp means children will no longer have to wait alongside drunk people on Friday and Saturday nights, in an often cramped waiting room, with harsh lighting and clinical surroundings during an especially upsetting time.

The custom-designed facilities will include a separate and calmer children’s waiting room and treatment area with five private cubicles, away from the busy adult unit.

Colourful and welcoming decorations based on local pupils’ artwork will also be painted on the walls.

The adult waiting area has also had a refurbishment, with new seating, a TV screen and refreshments.

Without the appeal, GWH would not have been able to afford little extras, such as games and computer tablets for the young patients.

Jen Green, the head of fundraising at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are thrilled with the response to our appeal. A massive thank you to everybody who has supported us. “Your donations have helped to create an emergency department to be proud of and feedback from staff and patients so far has been fantastic.”

The sum however has fallen short of the Adver’s £20,000 target.

In the last two weeks of the appeal, Adver editor Gary Lawrence encouraged townspeople to show their support to the thousands of children who will walk through the A&E’s doors in years to come.

“Visiting A&E is an incredibly difficult time for children and it is made even more stressful by a lack of distractions to keep them as calm and relaxed as possible,” he said.

“Toys, iPads, games and little extras will make an enormous difference for young patients “We need people’s help to make the waiting area as welcoming and warm as we can. We are too close to our target to give up now.”

Visit the Just Giving page at or text GWED50 with your amount to 70070. People can also claim back gift aid at no extra cost.