DAZZLING dance troupe Diversity have injected a dose of street cred into a campaign to create a state-of-the-art children’s A&E unit in Basildon.

The 11-strong south Essex group, led by Ashley Banjo from Wickford, are backing Basildon Hospital’s new Polly Parrot Appeal.

The campaign, set to be launched tomorrow, aims to raise £250,000 for the new children’s A&E unit set to open at the hospital in 2012.

The department – which will be the first stand alone children’s A&E in Essex – will be part of the £17million new A&E building currently being constructed at the hospital in Nethermayne.

Now, with Diversity behind them, hospital bosses are calling on residents, business and workers to help them raise their target.

The cash which will be spent on a multi-sensory room, which will be particularly therapeutic for children with special needs, as well as toys and other home comforts for poorly youngsters attending the A&E.

Ashley, 21, the leader and choreographer of Diversity, who stormed to fame after beating Susan Boyle in the 2009 Britain’s Got Talent final, said: “Kids’ experience of hospital is so different, and they need a different approach and a different environment.

“I think a children’s A&E is a brilliant idea, and a really positive approach for the hospital.”

The group’s youngest member,  Perri Luc Kiely, 14, of South Ockendon, who is known for his curly hair and amazing acrobatic stunts within the group, added: “Coming to hospital can be scary, and it can be scary to sit in A&E. So a children’s A&E will be really great.”

As Diversity are now touring abroad, their sister group Out Of The Shadows will help officially launch the appeal by performing at a special Pink Feather Ball at the Orsett Hall Hotel tomorrow.

When Diversity members return, they will be taking part in events to highlight the appeal and to get the public involved.

Lokesh Narayanaswamy, sub-director and A&E consultant at Basildon Hospital, said: “I am delighted to launch the Polly Parrot Appeal to support what will be the first purpose-built children’s A&E in Essex.

“It is really important to treat children in the right situation, and the new children’s A&E really shows the trust’s commitment to children’s care in the local area.

“I hope the community will support the Polly Parrot Appeal and donate to help us to buy specialist equipment and toys for children to use if they need to attend the A&E.”

To get involved with the appeal or to make a donation, call 01268 524900 ext 4198, or e-mail charity@btuh.nhs.uk