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Donation in memory of town crier brings some colour to hospital patients

Patients young and old are having a more colourful hospital experience thanks to a donation in memory of a former town crier.

Peter Taunton had been Stafford town crier for 25 years and Newport town crier for 13 years before passing away on 5 October.

His granddaughter Jade Childs who works as a senior brand manager for Crayola made the donation of wax crayons and coloured pencils to UHNM Charity in his memory.

The donation was split between Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke and University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust’s (UHNM) Older Adults wards.

Jade said: “Grandad was a wonderful, kind man and a larger than life character who touched many people through his many years of service as town crier. He was known for his generous, compassionate and big-hearted nature and devoted much of his time to supporting charity and those in need. Even whilst he was in hospital unwell he was walking around the ward checking everybody was OK and making them cups of tea.”

Peter was a father of five and grandad and great-grandad of 42.

Jade said: “Often grandad would be the one to take many of the grandchildren to hospital when they required care. And there has been many occasions in which UHNM has helped mend poorly family members so it’s a place that he held in his heart and a natural place that feels right to give back to in order to help fulfil his wishes.

“He noted in his arrangements that he didn’t want  people to buy him flowers or attend a funeral, but instead donate to charity on his behalf, and so even to the very end he was still putting others first. As his granddaughter, plus working for Crayola, this donation to UHNM Charity has been a great way to help fulfil his wishes.”

She added: “Charity work is also very important for Crayola who love to support these kind of initiatives. They were very happy to gift these products so a very big thank you to them for their support with all this.”

 Emma Biddulph, Play Specialist Coordinator said: “We were delighted to receive this kind donation from Crayola in memory of Peter. Being in hospital can be a daunting time for most adults let alone children, so we’ll use the crayons and pencils with our younger patients to take their mind off the clinical setting and make their experience a more enjoyable and exciting one.”

Chris Poyser, Ward Manager on Ward 76A said: “Arts and crafts and colouring in particular has many benefits for older patients as well as our younger ones. It relaxes patients, helps to reduce stress and anxiety and improves motor skills and vision. Jade’s donation means dozens of patients will have an improved experience whilst receiving care from us here at UHNM.”

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