On the first occasion I was Mayor in 2005/6 I was involved in the launch of the Lollipop Appeal for a High Dependency Children’s Unit at Darent Valley Hospital. With the Mayoress I decided this year to revisit this very worthwhile cause through my 2015/16 Charity Appeal for the Lollipop Fund.Mayor and Mayoress of Dartford

My reason for so doing was that children are so precious and the very thought of a sick child in distress and in need of highly specialist care, followed up by constant monitoring can upset us all. At such a time it is important for the child to be near his or her parents. In fact research has shown that a child with the comfort and reassurance of the parents close at hand stands a much improved chance of recovery.

Thankfully, most of us will never have to experience the serious illness of our children. But just imagine if you did, be it through an injury or a disease such as meningitis. Such a crisis would be bad enough, but imagine the upheaval of a transfer to another hospital far from home – sometimes unnecessarily, as a sick child can get better as quickly as he or she can get worse. Darent Valley Hospital has staff trained in high dependency care and with donations has been able to introduce a range of very expensive specialist equipment in order to give these children the very best possible chance of full recovery.

Mayor of Dartford Ian ArmittLess costly but equally important to the Darent Valley staff is the improvement of facilities for parents needing to stay overnight with their child and, thanks to the kind donations made, comfortable folding beds have been introduced together with a special room where parents can make a drink and rest or talk.

If you would like to support the Lollipop Fund through my Charity Appeal please make a donation by cheque made payable to ‘The Mayors Charity Account’ and send to me at:

The Mayor’s Parlour,

Dartford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1DR.

I would like to thank Dartford Living for allowing me the space to promote my Appeal and thank you

for taking the time to read this piece

Councillor Ian Armitt

The Worshipful Mayor of Dartford