Play2Give's lifetime of giving to Oxford Children's Hospital

We have been supporting the Oxford Children’s Hospital since we was born in 2007. Our founder Andrew Baker MBE BCAv, in total has been giving back a lifetime of across two decades, since the tender age of 14, for his thanks for all his childhood care.

Over £115,000 raised across two decades of giving

We have been tirelessly fundraising for the Oxford Children’s Hospital and, in 2023 we reached a landmark six-figure total, raising over £100,000 across our lifetime.

From state of the art equipment, to toys and games, to funding a patient room in our name, we have now to date provided over £116,000 of lifetime funds.

Andrew Baker MBE first began fundraising in 2003 to give back to the medical teams who twice saved his life, and latterly the brain surgery he endured aged 12 in 2001, was the inspiration for him to spur his drive on whilst a school pupil to help raise funds for the building of the bricks and mortar, of this very special place, which treats youngsters from all across the United Kingdom.

Even Superheroes have clocked up miles to raise the funds

Born with a brain injury, Andy spent his childhood in and out of hospitals across Oxford, and at birth spent the first days of his life fighting for life in the neonatal care unit of the John Radcliffe Hospital, after a lack of oxygen to the brain which then resulted in speech and learning disabilities and developmental delays.

We have entered teams into 13 OX5 Runs – the annual five-mile fun run held at Blenheim Palace each spring which is the hospital’s biggest fundraising event of the year, and we assemble teams of superheroes on the starting line.

12 football tournaments, black-tie balls, family fun days, charity nights, talent shows, tombola stalls and more have all been held as a wide variety of events over the years to raise funds, as well as providing thousands of toys each Christmas as part of our Sleigh2Give arm.

In September 2019, a group of our caped crusaders walked for over 20 miles from Didcot through towns like Abingdon and villages including Steventon, Drayton and Kennington to the John Radcliffe one Saturday across twelve hours with pub stops along the way, generating awareness for the hospital and for our charity, collecting with buckets on route raising over £564, with the likes of Batman and Robin, Supergirl and Mr Incredible.

It's been a right match of the day

. . . and it was all meant to just be an one-off football tournament, but 12 footy tournaments on, and over 300 teams have netted in fantastic goals to score brilliant sums through amazing match of the days.

We was born out of the concept of playing football to giving for charity, and after being created in 2007, our 6 a side tournaments become quite an institution in Oxfordshire, with the annual events fast gaining pace as a popular and much-loved fundraising event, and has seen the likes of local businesses, teams of friends, firemen, and even the police amongst TV and radio journo’s all take part over the years, as well as youth teams and 2023 saw our 12th and biggest football tournament yet!

The Play2Give Room on Melanie's Ward

March 2017 saw a very special moment in our 10-year history of raising funds for the Children’s Hospital, with the unveiling of the goal that we had longed worked towards, the opening of The Play2Give Room.

Across the years since being formed we had worked towards a £40,000 target to fund a room in our name, and the teenage ward, Melanie’s Ward, was chosen. After many years of a range of events from our football tournaments which raised the majority of the funds to charity nights, to selling wristbands to a year’s worth of fundraising with Sainsbury’s in Didcot to sponsored endeavours like head shaves and sponsored chilli-eating contests, the dream was achieved and the unveiling of the plaque to the door took place on 1st March 2017.

It was one of the proudest moments in our charity’s history, serving as a lifetime tribute of appreciation for our efforts, and for Andy’s relentless, dedicated and non-stop fundraising since 2003.

“The Play2Give team are very special friends of ours and their lifetime donations of £100k has helped to support countless projects, benefiting so many young patients over the past 21 years. Our wonderful community of supporters never fail to inspire us, and Play2Give is no exception. Thank you for all you do for the Children’s Hospital.”

- David Child, Community Fundraising Manager

22 years of very special support

2023 enabled us to donate over £15,000 as a finale to the celebrations of our landmark £100k. This total will be enough to fund an extra-ventricular drainage system in children’s neurosurgery (to be confirmed), whilst in 2017 we raised £12k which helped fund, amongst other equipment, cutting-edge monitors for each child’s bed in the hospital, drastically reducing the need for longer stays and meaning they portably travel with the child from ward to area, meaning quicker and faster treatment.

Over the years we have also helped to fund:

  • 150 thermo-cooling mugs for parents on the wards meaning they can carry hot drinks safely and still close to their sick child.
  • helped fund the creation of a sensory garden at the back of children’s outpatients
  • played a pivotal role in the funding exercise as part of the £2million appeal in the hospital’s tenth year for the development of a brand new 62-bedroomed parent accommodation, on the JR site.
  • Karate lessons for children with chronic pain conditions
  • Play specialists
  • New EEG machine (total cost £55k) for paediatric critical care unit
  • 2 new PS4s & games (£655) for Melanie’s (teenage) Ward
  • Chair beds for the children’s ward at the Horton General, Banbury
  • Toys and games for trauma outpatients
  • Gastroenterology clinical nurse specialist
  • Children’s disposable art packs during Covid-19 pandemic
  • A brain ‘sat nav’ for use in children’s neurosurgery
  • Breast pumps for Newborn intensive care unit
  • Refurbishing and upgrading play areas
  • Ultrasound scanner
  • Pioneering video link for parents with babies in Newborn intensive care unit
  • Fun and engaging artwork for children’s outpatients
  • New state of the art equipment for children’s critical care unit
  • creation of a dedicated children’s assessment area in ED at Horton General, Banbury
  • rest pods and respite rooms for frontline staff to recharge during breaks, before and after intense or stressful shifts
  • Mixed reality headsets to allow children’s neurosurgeons to prepare for ops by visualising tumours

Thousands of toys at Christmas spreading cheer, joy and smiles

Since 2015, our festive appeal, Sleigh2Give, has spread thousands of smiles on the faces of poorly children and brightening their families stays over the Christmas period through toys raised as part of our present drive.

Born in 2015, Sleigh2Give, has spread cheer, joy and smiles across Oxfordshire and the young hospital patients and their siblings have received thousands of toys given out each December since. With over 1,000 plus being provided at Christmas 2023 with thanks to a dancing tree and the elf joining Santa, to help create some very special memories and moments and making children, who often spending long length of stays, feel brighter with the joy of a toy and gift to open on Christmas day.

2024 sees our 10th anniversary Sleigh2Give appeal

Our fundraising and support to CHOX over the years

Lots of cheques, lots of events, lots of eggs and lots of festive cheer since 2003…