A hospital playgroup leader is raising money to replace toys and books she removed when the covid outbreak emerged.
Ann McKinnon “binned” items from the children’s department at Medway Maritime Hospital feeling it was “better to be safe than sorry”.
The mum-of two works tirelessly fundraising to keep the play room on Dolphin Ward equipped with goods to distract and comfort sick youngsters.
She said it was “the fear of the unknown” that prompted her to ensure as much as possible that the area was sanitised and disease-free.
Mrs McKinnon, said: “It was in the early days when we were unsure about all the effects concerning covid.
“I took it upon myself. As far as I was concerned I was following government guidelines. At the time people were not prepared to take any risks.
“There was nowhere to store things at the hospital because of the restrictions.”
Mrs McKinnon is now organising a bumper family fun day at Gillingham Football Club next month to replenish items, including dressing up clothes used in the Magpie Centre at the Gillingham hospital.
She also hopes to put some of the proceeds towards re-decorating the playroom.
The former Pride in Medway winner has been spending the last few months compiling a full programme of activities, including live entertainment, penalty shoot-outs, raffles, face painting and competitions.
Special guest will be children’s entertainer Mister Maker who will oversee proceedings at the sports venue in Redfern Avenue on Saturday May 13.
The CBeebies character, Phil Gallagher from Rainham, has supported fundraising events for the hospital on several occasions.
Food and refreshments, including an ice cream van and a licensed bar, will also be available.
If you would like to donate toys or raffle prizes, please drop them off at the Magpie Centre.
Admission is £2 and under 16s go free when accompanied by an adult.
Mrs McKinnon added: “A big thank you to those who have already helped out, especially Gillingham Football Club.”