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New look playroom gets the thumbs up

2023-07-10T17:10:42+01:00Monday 10 July 2023|
  • The brand-new space
  • The Mayor of Walsall cuts the ribbon
  • Delighted staff in the new look feature

Bright, colourful walls, activity tables, new toys and a wet play area are just what the doctor ordered for young patients on Walsall Manor Hospital’s Children’s Ward.

And they gave their new playroom a big thumbs up when its £23,000 transformation was unveiled, watched by many of the fundraisers who had helped its makeover.

Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity funded the work on the tired play space and has been working with its Play Specialists to create the new look feature.

Former patient George Stretton, 16 months, was among those to visit at a special event last Friday which saw the Mayor of Walsall, Councillor Chris Towe, cut the ribbon and declare it officially open.

Little George had sepsis and was treated at Walsall Manor Hospital. Mum Grace Shepherd said she and her family were so grateful for the care and support they were shown by staff that she wanted to give something back.

“George was four months old when he had sepsis and it was a really frightening time for us. But we are the lucky ones as he recovered and we still have our little boy, not all families have a happy ending,” she said.

“We decided to make a donation to the ward for the new play area on George’s first birthday this year because we wanted to say thank you for everything the staff did for us. Everyone – Doctors, Nurses and cleaners – were just so kind and understanding.”

Craig Timmins, a fitness instructor, helped raise money for new toys by teaming up with pal Michael Gough, e-commerce Manager for Tile Choice. The pair spent 24 hours walking, running and cycling in a charity cardio session which led them to raise £3,250.

After seeing the revamped play area Craig said: “It’s wonderful, really bright and welcoming. You wouldn’t know you were in hospital and I feel proud to think we’ve helped provide something so great for poorly children.”

Raj Phandey and Hollie Mills from HCB Solicitors, which donated £5,000 in dormant funds, said the playroom now looked “lovely and welcoming.”

Patient Amelia Jones, aged seven, liked the kitchen play area best and set to work making snacks for everyone.

Funds raised also transformed a plain wall in the Paediatric Assessment Unit in the new Urgent and Emergency Care Centre and lots of extra toys are on their way.

Georgie Westley, Fundraising Manager, said: “We were so excited to see everyone’s faces when we showed them the refurbished playroom and their smiles said it all.

“It looks amazing and is a much better environment for our young patients to use now. The charity is also really pleased to see that our mascot Humphrey bear pops up here and there in the wall murals where we have also ensured that four business supporters who raised large amounts are mentioned.  This finished appeal shows how generous our community has been on this project.”

Charlotte Yale, Divisional Director of Nursing; Children, Young People and Neonates, said Walsall Healthcare had been one of the first Trusts to re-establish play following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Play is an important part of the care we provide on our children’s ward and our Play Specialists do a fantastic job of helping take young patients’ minds off their treatment and illness. We are delighted with our new playroom and thank everyone who has supported this important work.”

Thank you to:

Michael Gough – Tile Choice

Craig Timmins – CTS Fitness

H and Jodie’s Nisa

Bharti Group

Kyle Davies

HCB Solicitors

Mayor and Mayoress of Walsall

Best of Walsall


George Stretton

Jordan Jackson

The team at Grosvenor Interior Design who made the charity’s idea of Humphrey Bear a reality.


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