From bubbles to balloons, young patients at Walsall Manor Hospital have been having lots of fun during Play in Hospital Week.
Play In Hospital Week has been running from 10-14 October this year and it aims to raise awareness of the benefits of play in the treatment of poorly children. It is organised by Starlight and the National Association of Health Play Specialists (NAHPS).
The theme for this year is ‘Play for resilience and good mental health’.
World Mental Health Day took place on 10 October and highlighted the importance of play for everyone’s health. Children, young people, play practitioners and families all benefit from play too.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust Play Specialists Sam Deane and Emma Lester have been pulling out all the stops to brighten the days of young patients on the Children’s Ward and even set up a Play in Hospital Week display.
Sam said: “We have been doing lots of activities like painting and bubbles and even had Magic Russ from POD children’s charity come and make balloon creations for the children. We also do a lot of games that involve role play using medical toys so we can prepare children for operations and scans.
“Starlight, a national charity that provide boxes of toys and activities to hospitals and hospices across the UK, also sent us Play Packs filled with fun puzzles, games and other activities that we were able to give to the children.”
She added: “It was also World Mental Health Day on Monday so it was great to promote Play in Hospital Week because play really helps children’s mental health as it allows them to talk about their feelings, distract them from pain and do something when they are bored. It is great for their development.”
Sam who has worked at the Trust for five years said her favourite thing about her role is ‘making a child’s experience of the hospital better and nicer’ while Emma, who has worked for Walsall Healthcare for 18 months, said her favourite thing is ‘making creative and crafty activities for the children’.
Pictured is 9-year-old Rosie Guest and her mum Jade, who are from Wednesbury.
Rosie has been enjoying her favourite game of snakes and ladders. Thanks to play, mum Jade has also seen how much more relaxed her daughter is while in hospital.