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It’s playtime at St Oswald's thanks to squeezy cheese connoisseurs, Primula

Team Valley-based  Primula have given families who rely on our service a very special gift– a brand new playground!

Primula is part of the Kavli Group, which is fully-owned by the charitable Kavli Trust. St Oswald’s applied to the trust to develop a brand new play area on our Gosforth site. A large outdoor space adjacent to the family lounge within our Children and Young Adult’s unit had originally housed a small playground when the service was first opened, but over the years, the equipment became unsafe or obsolete and could no longer be used.

Staff at Primula were asked to nominate charities close to their heart, to be considered for funding and St Oswald’s was chosen by Marketing and Innovation Manager, Mark Platten.

Mark said:

My mother worked for the hospice for many years so I was very aware of the work it does and the patients and families that benefit from its services.


When I was younger, I also completed some work experience at St Oswald’s , which is when I became aware of the fantastic facility the hospice provides for local people.


In later years, when my grandad was diagnosed with cancer, he spent his last weeks at St Oswald’s - the care both he and our family received was outstanding. It goes without saying, the hospice has had a special place in my heart ever since. 

In December, representatives from St Oswald’s fundraising team were invited to Primula’s Team Valley head office in Gateshead for what we thought was a second-round pitch to colleagues to be in with a shot of securing vital funding. Unbeknown to us, Primula employees had already voted for their winning charities and we had actually been invited to the company’s Christmas Briefing to celebrate the year’s successes!

Helen Alderson, Senior Fundraiser and Nikki Wilkinson, Campaign Manager were shocked and delighted to be presented with a cheque for £30,000, enough money to purchase the specialist equipment needed to create a brand new playground.

Thanks to the support of Primula, we hope to install a wheelchair accessible roundabout and two swings, one of which would be wheelchair accessible, as well as other accessible play equipment.

Jocelyn Thompson, Children & Young Adults Service Manager at St Oswald’s said

The new playground equipment, funded by Primula, will make a very positive difference to every child who uses the Hospice, helping them to exercise their core muscles, build their strength and improve their balance and spatial awareness – all while they think they’re just having fun!


At any one time the Hospice has around 55 children and young people in their care, together with their healthy siblings.  All would benefit from this new facility, so we want to say a huge thank you to Mark and the whole team at Primula for giving us this wonderful gift.

St Oswald’s have consulted with the team at Greenfingers Charity who have created over 55 gardens in children’s hospices across the UK.  Greenfingers have committed to work collaboratively with us, helping to reduce costs through the provision of services including design and project management support, meaning the money donated by Primula can go even further in making a difference.

It is hoped that the work on the new playground will be completed later this year.