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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 26 September 2016

The RUH unveils new sensory and teenage rooms thanks to Somerset charity

Staff at the Royal United Hospital, Bath held a thank you party for Time is Precious, a charity which has funded a brand new sensory room and teenagers chill out room for patients and their families.

Time Is Precious Party Over £60,000 has been raised, making this the largest project that the charity has funded so far.

Emily Graham, Head of Children’s Therapies, RUH said:

“We would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Time is Precious, especially to its trustees Neil and Nicky Halford. We are incredibly grateful for their amazing fundraising which has provided such brilliant resources to enhance children’s visits to our department.

“The sensory room will help children with complex needs, such as physical, communication and visual impairments.  The equipment is state-of-the art and we are delighted that we are able to offer this facility to our patients. 

“And it’s not just young children who have benefitted, as we now have a newly decorated chill-out room for teenagers who are inpatients at the RUH. Hopefully it will help them feel comfortable during their visit here as it feels more homely and less clinical.”

The Somerset based charity was set up by husband and wife Neil and Nicky Halford in memory of their son Ben Halford, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2010.

The charity’s supporters, volunteers, RUH staff and patients enjoyed the celebrations during the official opening. Patrons, Olympic gold medalist, Jason Gardener MBE, and actor Will Thorp were on hand to formally open the facilities, and a guided tour took place to show everyone the new rooms.

Trustee Nicky Halford, Time is Precious said:

“Every penny donated to Time is Precious counts and we couldn't make a difference to patients and their families without the help from our supporters and volunteers, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support.

 “We are delighted to have funded such wonderful new facilities for children and their families, as we know it will help immensely. As well as a new sensory room, TIP looked at how we could improve the environment for family and friends when they visit young patients. We know that sometimes visits can be cut short because it is difficult keeping brothers and sisters entertained. We want to be able to make visiting time a happy occasion for everyone so they can enjoy playing games, reading, chatting and just being a family.”

Before the ribbon was cut to officially open the sensory room, Emily said: “It’s a pleasure to show some of the equipment that the charity fundraising has provided as it makes such a difference to local children. To see some of our staff with tears in their eyes when they see the effect it can have on our young patients - money can’t buy that. It’s incredible. Thank you to everyone for helping to provide such amazing facilities.”


Time is Precious, is a voluntary charity which has been running for five years.  It was set up by Neil and Nicky Halford in memory of their son Ben who sadly died from cancer in 2010. He was cared for in the RUH’s Children’s ward for almost four years.

The aim of the charity is to help create a more comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for children and their families. The charity works alongside specialists to purchase equipment and refurbish areas to support not just those children who, because of illness or disability, find themselves in hospital for treatment but also their families who want to be with them because time is just that, precious.

Time is Precious has many more exciting up and coming projects in the future for departments in the RUH including; Pediatrics, Day Surgery and Children`s Therapies, A&E, and the Children’s Ward.

Families can set up a ‘Precious Appeal’ to raise funds for a specific area in the hospital. They will also get an input to how their money raised will be spent. This can be set up in a child’s name/ memory or what the parent feels comfortable with and families can have as much or little input as they wish.

For more information about the charity and/or to make a donation please visit:, or contact Nicky on or Facebook, search for Time Is Precious, Twitter @tipcharity or visit:

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