Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield celebrated National Play in Hospital Week to help bring to light the significance of how important playing in hospital is for children.
Play specialists across the country are being encouraged to plan activities on children’s wards to raise awareness of the importance of play for children who are receiving treatment in hospital.
Chris Morrell, Good Hope Hospital’s Play Specialist, lined up a week of activities for the children on the Children’s Assessment Unit at Good Hope. At the beginning of the week the children were able to see a fire engine and a police car, sit inside and learn all about what the fire brigade and police officers do in their jobs.
Chris also organised for Magic Russ to come in and show the children some magic tricks and model some balloons for them.
Chris said: “We’ve had Magic Russ on the ward a few times and it’s never the same thing, there’s always something new and different he can show the children here. They all love watching his tricks and getting a balloon animal at the end.
“Some of the children here don’t always want to take part, but they still like to watch him do his tricks with the other children and staff. It’s lovely to see a smile on their faces when they’re doing activities like this, and the staff love them too!”
Todd Roberts, who is seven years old, was waiting for his call down to theatre when Magic Russ arrived on the unit. Todd was able to see some magic tricks from Russ and also got a balloon alien made for him before he went for his operation!
Todd’s mom, Dawn Williams, said: “It was probably the only time he laughed whilst he was there, it’s really important to go away from hospital with a happy memory as well as the not so happy ones. He’s still got his balloon alien.”
Some of the children can be worried or stressed about being in hospital, so having activities for them to do whilst they’re waiting is an important part of their treatment.
Laura Power, Fundraising Manager for Good Hope Hospital Charity, said: “It’s so nice to see the children having fun even when they’re in hospital. It can be a daunting time for some of them and having activities like this can take their minds off it for a little while and they can play and have fun.
“Thanks so much to Magic Russ for coming in and brightening the children’s day.”
You can help bring activities like this to the ward and make the hospital a less daunting and stressful place for children by donating at www.hosptialcharity.org/childrenandyoungpeople.