Children enjoy tour of Lancaster laboratory with ‘Harvey’s Gang’

Harvey's Gang tour with Dexter and Dolly.
Harvey's Gang tour with Dexter and Dolly.

A young boy and his sister enjoyed a tour of a hospital laboratory in Lancaster as part of the national ‘Harvey’s Gang’ initiative.

Dexter Mullholland-Helme-Kelsall, 10, and his sister Dolly, eight, from Heysham, had alook around the Russell Curwen Blood Sciences Laboratory at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary RLI) on May 28.

Jill Livingstone, a Transfusion Practitioner for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), along with members of the Blood Sciences team, showed Dexter and Dolly around the laboratory.

Jill said: “Dexter was interested in how all the machines worked asked a lot of very pertinent questions to learn about the components of blood.

“Dolly enjoyed watching the machines and a video of a moving neutrophil (a type of white blood cell that protects people from infections).Dolly found the experience exciting and interesting giving us four out of five stars.

“Dexter described the tour as ‘a once in a lifetime experience’ and gave seven out of five stars. The blood sciences team is looking forward to testing Dexter’s blood in the future.”

Harvey’s Gang is a registered charity which encourages and helps children to have an understanding of illness and the necessity to give blood samples.

Harvey Baldwin was an inquisitive young boy who sadly died of complications related to acute myeloid leukaemia. When Harvey was receiving treatment at Western Sussex NHS Trust (WSHT) he asked if he could see how and where his blood was tested. Malcolm Robinson, Chief Biomedical Scientist at WSHT, heard about Harvey and gave him a guided tour of the Pathology Laboratory.

After Harvey passed away in 2013, Malcolm continued offering tours to children who wanted to be ‘Trainee Scientists’ for the day and the charity was formed.

Harvey’s Gang tours by UHMBT are also held at the Pathology Department at Furness General Hospital (FGH).

To enquire about Harvey’s Gang and tours at the Russell Curwen Blood Sciences Laboratory at the RLI or the Pathology Department at FGH, please contact: Jill Livingstone, Transfusion Practitioner at jill.livingstone@mbht.nhs.uk, Rachael Williams, Technical Services Manager at rachael.williams@mbht.nhs.uk.