There were plenty of people wearing odd socks at Rotherham Hospital last week, but it was all for a worthy cause rather than a sign they got dressed in the dark.
Nurses and midwives at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust invited patients, their families and colleagues to show off their super socks on Friday 20 March – a day before the official World Down’s Syndrome Day on 21 March.
The colourful stunt encourages people to wear funky footwear to help raise awareness about Down’s syndrome and to raise funds for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity and the Down’s Syndrome Association.
Jackie Durban, one of the Trust’s lead midwives for Antenatal and Newborn Screening, said: “This year’s theme for World Down’s Syndrome Day was ‘we decide,’ which aimed to empower people with Down’s syndrome to get involved in making decisions about their lives. This could include anything from the healthcare they receive, their education, relationships or work.
“Wearing odd, colourful socks was a great ice breaker to get people talking. It was also a fun and easy way for people to join us in fundraising for two amazing charities.
“It’s a challenging time for the NHS and the public at the moment so it was great to be able to raise some smiles on the wards and to bolster people’s spirits. It’s amazing what we can achieve when we all work together and we’re delighted to have raised so much money.”
World Down’s Syndrome Day is typically held on March 21 to signify the extra 21st chromosome detected in a baby’s cells which leads to a Down’s syndrome diagnosis.
Trust colleagues on Wharncliffee, the Labour Ward, Children’s Ward, Clinical Coding and at Greenoakes were all spotted wearing their odd socks.
Mike Smith, Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee, said: “Odd Socks Day is a fun day with a serious message about empowering people with Down’s syndrome to speak up and to be heard so they can make decisions about their own lives. We showed our commitment as a Trust to do that and I hope it has a positive impact. It was brilliant to see everyone supporting the event in spite of the challenges the NHS is currently facing.