A big ‘Thank You’ to Magic Russ from POD Children’s Charity who with some talented tricks and marvellous balloon models was able to put smiles on the faces of our young patients last week.
POD, established in 1977, provides entertainment for children in over 150 hospitals and hospices throughout the UK including Walsall Manor Hospital, with its services having been used on the children’s ward for over 23 years.
From magicians to puppeteers, musicians to clowns, creating happiness and joy in difficult circumstances is what entertainers like Russ Stokes work so hard for.
He explained: “Ours shows can have a real impact on a poorly child.
“Sometimes it’s a simple magic trick or balloon animal that can cheer them up and for me it really is the most rewarding job!
“It’s also really important for the families to see their child have some fun while in hospital; it must be challenging to keep a brave face when their little one is ill but to see them laugh must help alleviate that pressure.”
Performing professionally since 1990, Russ does more than 300 magic shows across the year and most recently was able to wow four-year-old Angel who was admitted onto our children’s ward with a chest infection.
Mum Emma said: “We heard that a magician was coming to visit and it was all Angel could talk about. She just kept saying: “The magic man is coming!”
“Magic Russ is brilliant – he’s really cheered us up.”
Angel, who began suffering with respiratory problems as a baby, is hoping to be out of hospital in a few days’ time. Until then, entertainment like POD is helping to pass the time.
Angela Kelly, Play Specialist said: “We love having Russ here on the ward. The children look forward to seeing him and it’s a happy distraction for those who aren’t well.
“Some of the tricks are so good they even leave the adults scratching their heads!”