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Captain Starlight and Greater mum spread Christmas cheer to sick kids

Greater customer service officer Sue Radford reflects on her experience helping Captain Starlight bring smiles to the faces of Gosford Hospital’s youngest residents.

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Captain Starlight and staff from The Greater visited Gosford Hospital to spread some Christmas cheer to sick local kids and their families on Tuesday December 10.

The visit was the final one to Gosford Hospital for 2013.

Funding from Greater Charitable Foundation has allowed Captain Starlight to visit the hospital every month this year. In addition to providing funding, the Foundation arranges for Greater Building Society staff members to volunteer at the visits.

One of the volunteers this month was Sue Radford who was volunteering for the third time this year. (She was joined by Lake Haven resident and customer service officer at our Morisset branch Sarah Tyler who was volunteering for the second time this year.)

Ms Radford is a customer service officer at the Greater’s Lake Haven branch and a Lake Munmorah resident of 28 years.

A mum of two, she said she was fortunate to never have to use Starlight’s services but she knows about the heartache of having a child in hospital. Her nephew, now in his late 20s, was in hospital in Sydney as a baby.

“When I heard the Greater was helping Starlight Children’s Foundation with these visits I knew I wanted to be involved to make a difference to the kids and their parents,” Ms Radford said..

“To watch the kids’ face light up as Captain Starlight entertains them is exhilarating,” she said.

“You also see the relief of the parents; the worry disappearing from their faces for a short time,” she said.

Ms Radford and Captain Starlight handed out some Christmas gifts that were donated to Starlight. Ms Radford also brought some gifts of her own to add to the collection.

“My kids are very fortunate (her son is a sponsored surfer and receives promotional gifts) and if there are things they are given that they can’t or don’t use then I save them for Captain Starlight to share with the kids.”

Captain Starlight’s visits are a diversional therapy program. They use fun activities such as face painting, card playing, singing and balloon making to help kids take their minds off being in hospital.

Captain Starlight will continue his Greater sponsored hospital visits in 2014.

The Greater Charitable Foundation It has provided more than $500,000 over three years (2012-2014) to enable regular visits by Captain Starlight to six hospitals in regional NSW and three hospitals on the Gold Coast as well as to support Starlight’s wish granting program. It is funded through the profits of Greater Building Society.

Starlight Children’s Foundation is this year celebrating 25 years of operation.