The Blog

DJing A Difference

Totally inspired, I really wanted to do something that would really make a difference to the children and their time there, some of whom were only as old as three years and had never lived their life away from the hospital.

As privileged adults, we seem to forget about true struggle - almost everyday, I find myself complaining and feeling stressed about the most banal things in life. But what do I really have to be worried about? I have my health; I have my friends and family. My job allows me to travel around the world, eat amazing food, play my favourite music and dance until my feet hurt. I have everything I need.

In my first ever post, I wrote about a recent trip back to my native South Africa, where I had the opportunity of being invited to return to my old school and revisit childhood memories.

And whilst it was amazing to meet and chat to the present pupils about my career, the parties I've played at and the celebrities I've met - I also wanted to speak about the other work I feel just as strongly about. My charity work.

As a DJ, I have a lot to be thankful for. I feel truly blessed to be in a position to know so many different people from various professions and backgrounds who can truly make a difference with their influence.

I have always wanted to do something for charity, and because I work rather nocturnal hours, fortunately I have time to spend during the day making a difference.

Clichéd as it sounds, I truly believe children are our future. They have an entire lifetime ahead of them; a clean slate to shape our world, and the hope of making it a better place for their children to come. And it is my hope every child is given every opportunity in life to be the best that they can be.

Now that I'm based in London, and knowing that I wanted to help children, I began researching children's charities and then narrowed down my search to children's hospitals and how I could contribute there.

As there are many children's hospitals in London, all equally worthy of support, I initially found it difficult to choose which one to personally help. To begin with, I started at the better known hospitals. But then I thought, what about the hospitals that do just as amazing work but don't have high profiles? Who helps these hospitals?

After several visits to hospitals around London, eventually I found it...The Royal London Hospital Children's Ward. So, why this hospital?

Many reasons came to mind.

Firstly, due to a huge refurbishment, the hospital had recently moved buildings and in all the upheaval and confusion of the move, most of the children's toys were destroyed. During my initial visit and walk around, although the new hospital had freshly painted walls, there was no warmth.

Secondly, I discovered that no celebrity had been to the hospital for years, making it difficult to create awareness of the great work they do.

Finally, very quickly I became acutely aware that the work they do at this hospital is absolutely incredible. The Royal London Hospital is a government hospital, based in an area were many underprivileged people live and need help. Not only that, it's the only Children's hospital in London that has both an emergency unit and also a specialist unit.

The specialist unit I was most interested in was the Gastric Unit. Put simply, the majority of children admitted to this ward are born with only around 20% of their gut, making it impossible for them to eat or digest anything. This means that for the rest of their life, they will either have to physically carry around their food either in a back pack or on a hook which is then intravenously fed to them.

To visit this amazing hospital and to see these incredible children, still smiling and trying to be happy whilst facing months and months of hospital stays and treatment ahead of them really hit home. At 5 years old, all I could remember and imagine was playing and running, being free.

Totally inspired, I really wanted to do something that would really make a difference to the children and their time there, some of whom were only as old as three years and had never lived their life away from the hospital.

I desperately wanted to do something to make them forget for just a day of what they face... so if you can't eat cake, what's the next best thing?

A party!

Calling on anyone that I knew who could help in some way - big or small - I begged and pleaded for any donations possible to be able to buy new toys for all the wards, and for all ages of children. After a successful couple of months campaigning and armed with iPods, teddy bears, dolls, baby mats, I took my decks and prepared to throw the children their own little party.

As ever, the nurses were incredible and kindly helped with anything I needed. The children had even made me my own DJ Lora Banner, so I turned the music on and everyone began to dance and laugh, for a minute forgetting the pain they felt. Some of the children who were bed ridden were wheeled into the Disco Room just to even have a boogie in bed.

And in that moment, I don't think I have ever felt happier in my life.