Where your money goes
Everyday that a child has to visit or stay in hospital they deserve not to be scared or feel anxious. The money raised ensures the charity can create the potential for that to be different and that the future of hospital experiences for children can be one of fun, smiles and laughter.
Evelina London Children’s Hospital cares for children and young people from across south London and south east England. They offer a unique range of services from antenatal diagnosis through to childhood, into adolescence and on into adult life.
The play specialists on each floor are there to help children to cope with the hospital environment, prepare them for treatments and procedures and reduce their fears and anxieties all through the method of play distraction.
Jane Sivyer, Senior play specialist - paediatric intensive care unit.
"As a senior play specialist on Evelina London Children's Hospital's paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), I work with very sick children and their families.
"I try to bring some normality into children's lives through play, helping them to reach their developmental milestones, providing games and activities to alleviate boredom or to distract them from their illness for a while.
"I love my job. It often involves lots of mess - playing with paint or foam and allowing the child to have fun in a very clinical environment. Seeing a child smile or achieving a milestone always feels great.
We work with Jane and the others to provide the tools to help bring those smiles to a child's face everyday.
The children on each ward have different needs and although some of the treatments and procedures are similar the items for play required are often different. As the NHS does not directly fund play, the play specialists are always extremely grateful to have anything provided that can help the children to cope. They liaise with us to let us know their wish list for the children and we try to make it happen.
Every ward has stickers and certificates designed by children to reward the children for being brave. We also sponsor art and craft boxes which have the essential art equipment provided, and then chosen craft kits and activities that they can make and take home. These help to distract them from the hospital environment.
We have bought larger play items such as book cases; kitchens; dvd projector (cinema experience) and train tables to provide play distraction. Also items for diversion during treatments or procedures such as a lasersky projector.
We are currently working with a company to provide an App for intensive care patients to help them to communicate when ventilated and to deal with the intensice care environment.
We also work with the play specialist in A&E at St Thomas' by providing bubbles and books to help with distraction during treatments and to help the children to remain calm.
William Harvey Hospital
The William Harvey Hospital is a hospital in Willesborough, Ashford, Kent, England. It is one of the three main hospitals in the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Trust area and is named after William Harvey (1578–1657), the Folkestone-born doctor who discovered the blood circulatory system.
Padua ward is the children's ward and provides care for when children need to stay in hospital overnight for their treatment as well as day assessment areas. It has a Special Care Baby Unit and holds outpatient clinics for children, and also has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
We work with Lorraine Cassar - play specialist and Kirsty to provide stickers and certificates for bravery; and sponsor art boxes filled with art and craft equipment and craft activities to help with distraction. We have also provided highchairs and cot mobiles for the babies on the ward.
The Sunshine Room
The Hope Ball in October 2012 raised money to refurbish the playroom on the ward. Now children who have to stay can escape to the 'Sunshine Room' to play or be prepared for treatment through role play toys.
We plan to refurbish the outdoor space in 2014, but this will require over £20,000 as it needs a bespoke UV protective canopy to be installed. We hope to raise an appeal early this year to make it happen for the summer.
Kent and Canterbury
Children in the Canterbury area with minor injuries (e.g. suspected broken arm) can be treated at the Emergency Care Centre at Kent and Canterbury Hospital. There is a unique Children's Assessment Centre, where children have outpatient appointments or day surgery. Unwell children can be referred by a doctor to the centre for observation and assessment. The centre also houses the Mary Sheridan Centre for children with special educational needs, physical disabilities and a range of neuro-developmental conditions including epilepsy and Autism.
We work with the nurses on the Dolphin Ward - Helen Petulla liaises with us on what the children need. Like the other hospitals we provide stickers and certificates for bravery, and sponsor art and craft boxes which provide distraction from the hospital environment.
We have people donate us some unwanted plastic and wooden toys which we have given to them for the indoor play area on the ward. We have also bought them a tablet computer for the adolescence to use to again provide distraction from treatments or as a reward for bravery during a procedure.
The money raised from cycle rides and runs has been used to create an outdoor play area on the Dolphin ward, by constructing a UV canopy to provide all year outdoor play. It might only be a small area but the children having a chance to be outside when visiting the ward for the day means a huge difference to how they feel about visiting the hospital, and coping with it.