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Swap shop for new toys.

WHEN he went into hospital for treatment, little Austin Quantrill looked around him for some comfort.

But when all he could find was a headless action figure, his mum Andrea decided that something should be done to replace the day surgery's tired toys.

Now, thanks to the help of family and friends, she raised hundreds of pounds through her swap party fundraiser.

Andrea and Austin, together with his 10-month-old brother Riley, returned to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to take a look at all the new toys that cash has helped provide.

Austin, three, visited the Lindley hospital with his mum for a routine operation.

Andrea, a performing arts teacher at Calderdale College, said she was struck at the lack of toys for the children to play with.

The 28-year-old said: "The staff were fantastic when Austin had to have an operation and we spent several afternoons in the Day Surgery's waiting area.

"I wanted to do something to give back to the staff who helped Austin and decided to raise some money to replace some of the worn toys."

Andrea held a swap party where family and friends bought along unwanted clothes, jewellery, handbags and cosmetics. There they donated a bit of money to the cause while boosting their own wardrobes.

She said: "It seems one woman's trash really is another woman's treasure and the party was a great success. Everyone went away with something new to them - it was like having a glamorous charity shop in my living room!" Andrea saves for both Austin and Riley at Yorkshire Building Society and she contacted its charitable foundation to see if it could help. The Foundation boosted her fundraising to pounds 540, enough cash to replace the toys at the hospital and even provide a mini car for the children to enjoy.

Allison Edwards, a staff nurse in the day surgery who helped Austin said: "We are thrilled to have received this donation and the new toys have gone down very well with our younger patients. It was very kind of Andrea to think of us and the swap party sounds like it was great fun!

"Thanks to her efforts and the support of the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation, we've also managed a swap of our own - our old, tired toys for new ones to be enjoyed by all in the Day Surgery."

CAPTION(S):

* TOY SHOP: Andrea Quantrill and son Austin with staff Caz Brough, Connie Bradley, Margaret Schofiel and Allison Edwards and daughter Cassidy with toys they have donated to Day Surgery unit at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Picture by Julian Hughes (JH200412Mtoys-01)
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Apr 24, 2012
Words:433
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