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Bradford hospital staff are preparing to be ghost busters for charity.

Fearless friends from Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital are set to endure a spooky stay in one of the UK’s most haunted houses.

Senior Ward Administrator for Elderly Care, Ward 3, Charlotte Jones; Health Care Assistants, Lindsey Spivey and Helen Dolan Baines; House Keeper, Debra Lewis; and Support Secretary for the Elderly, Sarah Robinson, as well as staff from the social services hub at St Luke’s have signed up for the scary sleepover.

But their nerve-shredding stay will all be for a good cause as it will raise money for our Forget-Me-Not fund, which provides extra support for patients with dementia, their families and carers.

The eerie venue is a modest-looking, semi-detached house at 30, East Drive, Pontefract. But this is no ordinary home: the chilling residence has been uninhabited since its last owners fled in terror back in the 1970s, and has since featured in a number of television programmes and even a film about paranormal activity.

Spooky sleepover

Said to be home to a malevolent poltergeist, it has been the subject of many news reports but the intrepid team of 10 from Bradford Teaching Hospitals are refusing to be cowed. 

Charlotte said: “Every year we take part in the Thornton Christmas tree festival, decorating a tree for the dementia fund, but we decided we wanted to organise another fundraising event and a ghost hunt was suggested. It seemed like a good idea at the time but now the date is drawing nearer, I’m not so sure!

“So far though, no one has dropped out and our motto is that there is safety in numbers so we reckon if we all stay together we should make it through the night. We know it’s a lively place and it’s even been featured on television’s ‘Most Haunted’ programme. The plan is to start off with a guide from around 9pm but then he will leave us on our own and we have to make it through until breakfast time.

Too scared

“The guide has told us to take sleeping bags but I don’t think anyone will be sleeping. We’ll all be too scared! It’s all for a good cause though and we want to raise money to buy additional equipment for Ward 3.

“This is an elderly admissions ward and we sometimes find that patients can be agitated when they are first admitted. There is a piece of equipment called a ‘My Life’ unit that helps patients feel relaxed in what can be a strange and frightening environment.”

The state-of-the-art units are invaluable as they can help patients with cognitive impairment. By simply touching the screen, the software stimulates people with dementia to start lively discussions and debates, as well as tell anecdotes about long-forgotten tales.

Personal media items can also be uploaded, allowing families, carers and people with dementia to view images from the past or other relevant images.

Chief Nurse Karen Dawber said: “I wish them all well and would like to thank them for their continuing efforts to go above and beyond in putting the patient first – and I hope that our staff will return to work unscathed by the experience!”

So far around £600 has been raised but the fearless fundraisers are aiming for a target of £1,000. Anyone wishing to sponsor them can email Charlotte at charlotte.jones@bthft.nhs.uk, visit their JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/charlotte-jones68 or text ‘FMNF99’ to 70070, specifying the amount - £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10.