Coles launches new fundraising campaign to help sick kids

Sick kids at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children will soon have a reason to smile thanks to the launch of a campaign at Coles to raise funds for leading-edge equipment.

As of today, ACT shoppers can help support the Canberra Hospital Foundation by purchasing a $2 donation card at Coles supermarkets.

The two-week campaign is part of a national initiative known as Curing Homesickness, which brings children’s hospitals from across Australia together to get sick kids home from hospital sooner or make their hospital stay easier.

Money raised in the ACT will go directly towards funding “Smileyscopes” devices in the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. The Smileyscope is a cutting-edge wearable device which reframes needle experiences for kids with fun, colourful and interactive virtual reality.

Canberra Hospital Foundation CEO Helen Falla said the Smileycopes will be a first at Canberra Health Services and a game changer for the children’s hospital.

“We’re excited to welcome the Smileyscopes to the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children,” she said.

“Anyone who has ever had a needle knows how stressful the experience can be. Young children in particular can find the experience distressing and painful and the Smileyscopes will help create a welcoming, calm environment for young patients.”

“Not only will they help sick kids, but the devices will also alleviate stress for parents and caregivers and will assist paediatric doctors and nurses to help kids return home sooner.”

Centenary Hospital for Women and Children Clinical Nurse Catherine Campbell welcomed the fundraising for the new Smileyscopes devices. “The Smileyscopes devices will significantly change the way we do needle procedures at the hospital and will have a positive impact on patients, families, nurses and doctors,” she said.

“Needles can cause a lot of anxiety for young patients. Giving children a fun, colourful and interactive virtual reality experience will be a great distraction, ultimately enhancing their hospital experience, while making work more streamlined for medical practitioners.”

Coles State General Manager Emma Bridges said Coles was pleased to be able to kickstart a campaign to help fund leading-edge equipment for the new Centenary Hospital for Women and Children through the Curing Homesickness campaign.

“It’s staggering to think the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children cares for so many children from Canberra and the surrounding region each year and we’re pleased to be able to play a part by supporting the Smileyscopes initiative which will make a real difference to young patients and their families.”

The fundraising campaign comes a year after Coles launched a new range of pasta sauce – called Mum’s Sause – also part of the Curing Homesickness initiative, which supports the Canberra Hospital Foundation. Fifty cents from every jar of Mum’s Sause sold in the ACT is directed to the hospital to help sick kids.

Coles Curing Homesickness donation cards will be available for purchase in stores across the ACT from Wednesday, July 15 to Wednesday, July 29.