A Croydon mother’s Christmas pyjama collection for young hospital patients is open for donations again this year.

Charmaine Green, from Waddon, started the collection nine years ago after her two-year-old daughter, Nevaeh, was diagnosed with Leukaemia.

Ms Green initially began collecting toys, so they could be gifted to children at Croydon University Hospital and The Royal Marsden, where Nevaeh, who is now in remission, was being treated.

After speaking to staff, Ms Green learned that, whilst toys were donated generously, hospitals were in short supply of comfortable pyjamas for children to wear rather than sterile hospital gowns.

In 2010, Ms Green started an annual pyjama collection, which has grown to the point where last year 4,000 pairs were donated and distributed to 16 hospitals in London, Surrey and Kent with the help of volunteers.

Ms Green said: “Every child deserves to be comfortable in hospital.

“It began with toys in 2010, but I soon realised something else was needed.

“We started collecting for Croydon University hospital, but as friends spread the word it escalated and grew.

“Donations have increased annually to the point where our collection points are bursting at the seams.”


Volunteers at a collection point

Each year Ms Green starts a Facebook event where people can register their interest and learn the location of their nearest drop-off point.

The pyjamas must be new, preferably sealed but not wrapped, and in sizes for boys or girls ranging from new-born up to age 16.

For Ms Green, it’s important to stress that the clothes are intended for young adults, not just children, and they are to be worn all year round, not just at Christmas.

She added: “In one hospital where we sent pyjamas a teenager was admitted from a care home.

“He came in with just the clothes on his back. It meant so much to him to have new clothes to call his own.”

Nevaeh, who starts secondary school next year, has been in remission for seven years.

Whilst her daughter’s two years of treatment inspired Ms Green to kick start the initiative, her focus has changed through the years.

She said: “I don’t think about Nevaeh so much when I’m organising the collection.

“She was the reason I started, but now it’s become about helping other families.”

The collection began two weeks ago and will run until December 7, after which the pyjamas will be delivered.

The main collection centre is St Mildred’s Parish Church, Bingham Road, Croydon.

Pyjamas can also be bought online and sent to Hospital Pyjamas’ address: Eric Miller Flooring, 16, Tolworth Rise South, Tolworth, Surrey KT5 9NN.

All details regarding type, collection points, delivery options and an Amazon 'Wish List' are in the about section of the hospital pyjama collection Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/291623421435958/