Massive demonstration planned for Save St Helier Hospital campaign
Thousands of people are expected to attend a major demonstration against cuts at St Helier Hospital.
Campaigners, Michelle Baker, 32, and Karen Russell, 35, from Morden are arranging a big picnic with a purpose on Saturday, September 8, on the green in front of the hospital.
The event is for residents and campaigners to show their opposition to NHS SW London's proposals to close St Helier Hospital's accident and emergency and maternity departments.
As part of a healthcare review, Better Services Better Value, it was recommended that St Helier Hospital should be the hospital in SW London to lose its accident and emergency and maternity departments.
The review has also recommended that St Helier, Kingston and Croydon University hospitals are all set to lose their inpatient paediatric care in favour of a single children’s hospital based at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
Mums Ms Baker and Mrs Russell have helped organise the event after experiences with St Helier Hospital ranging from help with peas stuck up children’s noses to childbirth and serious injuries.
Features on the day will include a bouncy castle, a gladiator game, pepper pig, cheerleading and farm animal displays.
Ten petitions, including the Sutton Guardian's Save St Helier petition, will be handed into the hospital and there will be speeches at 1pm. The public are asked to bring their own picnic, show their support and enjoy the entertainment.
Mrs Russell said: "It’s going to be an amazing day for all the families of Sutton and Merton. There’s going to be loads of entertainment and fun for the kids, from face-painting to gymnastic displays. It’ll be a great day out with a real purpose.
"If you live locally pop down from noon, bring a picnic and enjoy the day. You can help save St Helier just by being there and showing your support.
"Everyone knows we need St Helier Hospital. The idea of closing its most vital departments is crazy and have made people really angry.
"This is our chance to come together and show we won’t put up with any damage to our hospital."
Her friend and fellow organiser, Ms Baker, added: "The reaction for businesses and groups has been overwhelming.
"If other groups and businesses want to step forward, there’s still time. It’s going to be a brilliant day."
If you would like to have a stall or display on the day email: firstname.lastname@example.org.The event will run from 12 to 4pm.
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