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Pippa Visit
Pippa the polar bear spreads festive joy at St Mary's
12 December 2019

The icon character at Robin Hill’s new Christmas event on the Isle of Wight, Pippa the polar bear, will be leaving her POLAR Hollow on Thursday 12th and Monday 16th December to bring some festive cheer to the children’s wards at both St Mary’s Hospital on the Island and Southampton General.  

Hospital is one of the last places that anyone wants to find themselves, let alone as a child at Christmas time. Hundreds of thousands of children across the UK spend at least one day in hospital over the festive period, unable to join in any Christmas event celebrations, so the team at Robin Hill are taking a little POLAR magic to them with the special chance to meet the life-sized polar bear, Pippa in person.  

“It all came about after a member of the team asked if Pippa could go and meet his step-son, who’s currently in the ward at Southampton General. He’d told the nurses and some of the kids on the ward that he worked with a life-sized polar bear and, of course, they all wanted to meet her! We’re really looking forward to these visits, and want to thank Red Funnel for helping to get Pippa across the Solent – she has been told to be on her very best behaviour!” – James Crofts, Robin Hill Park Manager 

Whilst lots of us are gearing up for a full banquet at home this year, many families will be spending their Christmas day in a hospital ward. For many of these children, their worst fear is that Santa will not know where to bring their presents as they aren’t at home… Luckily, Pippa is very close friends with both Father & Mrs Christmas so she’s eager to let the children know that they needn’t worry as Father Christmas always knows where they are. 

“Being in hospital in the run up to Christmas is stressful and difficult for both the children and their families so to have Pippa visit the ward and spread her Christmas cheer, will help to put smiles on the faces of everyone.” – Rachel Clark, Children’s Ward Sister at Isle of Wight NHS Trust

It’s not just the children that need a bit of Christmas magic at this time of year, but the hardworking staff that run these hospitals too. The NHS estimates that over 150,000 UK nurses, nursing assistants, doctors and surgeons will be hard at work this Christmas day, so the Robin Hill team hope to bring some Christmas cheer to their workdays too.  

“Having Pippa visit us will help spread some Christmas magic which can often be forgotten when children are sick in hospital.  I have no doubt that we will have lots of smiles on the day.”  – Joyce Stebbings, Youth & Play Services Manager at Southampton General Hospital

Pippa will be back to Robin Hill in time for the remaining four dates of POLAR on 13th,14th, 20th and 21st December. 

“Following our on-going activity with the Isle of Wight Youth Trust and more recently, the donations made to Isle of Wight Radio’s Toy Appeal, I’m very proud of the work our team has put in to support local charities this season. I’d like to extent our sincere thanks, on behalf of the whole Vectis Ventures team, to the NHS staff working tirelessly across our region over the festive period and send our best wishes to all individuals who may find themselves hospitalised over Christmas.” – James Crofts

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