Earlier this year, one of my children had to receive emergency surgery following an assault committed by another child on their way home from school. This week, 8 months after the original assault, he had a second operation due to the ongoing pain he has been feeling since the first.
One thing that was very noticeable in both of the hospitals he was treated in, was the lack of 'consumable resources' available to the Specialist Play staff on the wards.
NHS Play Specialists do an amazing job! If you've had a child or your own, or a young relation, in hospital, then you will know that they are there primarily to put your child at ease and make their time in hospital as fun and enjoyable as they possibly can.
As well as helping the child to understand what is going to happen during their stay in hospital, they help to distract the child while cannulas are put in and injections are given.
They go with the child to X-ray and MRI rooms to help keep them still and relaxed - and they even go all the way down to the anesthetic room / operating theatre to ensure your child is as happy as they possibly can be.
I doubt if any of you will be surprised to hear that there is no budget for toys, games or activities for the kids spending time in hospital - and that the play specialists rely entirely on donations.
Generally speaking, this works very well for things like toys and books - a child grows out of a certain toy, or reads a certain book and they get donated to the Children's ward.
But what about the simple stuff? The 'consumables' that often get overlooked?
A child about to receive an injection could be easily distracted by something as simple as a bottle of bubbles - but where do these small pots of bubbles magically appear from? Mostly, the Play Specialists are spending their own money on things like this.
A donation of just 50p would provide a small pot of bubbles and a sticker book for a child in hospital - and it's these things that I am asking for help with providing. It would be great if I could provide my 2 local hospitals (Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury & High Wycombe General) with some of these things after talking to the staff there this week.
My aim is to provide a quantity of felt pens, sticker books, pots of bubbles and other items to these places to support the work done by these amazing Play Specialists
Any and all donations would be gratefully received. It's not often that the donation of just £1 can achieve so much and make such a difference to a child's time spent in hospital.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!