With your support we can do more to ensure children and their families experience outstanding care with compassion and better cope with their healthcare experience/being in hospital.

Even the sickest children need to feel comfortable and safe, and to have a chance to play and learn. This can have a huge impact on their successful recovery, building confidence, developing creativity, addressing physical, social and emotional issues as well as providing a welcome distraction for children during an anxious and often scary time.

Thanks to your support we have funded improvements to the hospital environment so that we can create the best possible experience during what can be a difficult time. We have developed children’s playrooms, family areas, outdoor play areas and sensory gardens, and provided singing medicine practitioners and giggle doctors.

Thanks to your support we add comfort, colour, music and laughter to our regular playtime activities.

Here are just some of the ways you have made a difference to our families at Birmingham Children’s Hospital:

Singing Medicine

Funded by your donations and delivered in conjunction with Ex-Cathedra, Singing Medicine brings singing, music and laughter to our wards every week.  The award winning Singing Medicine team is made up of professional vocal tutors who work with babies, children, and young people, encouraging them to participate, share ideas and have fun.

Singing promotes well-being, and can help to stimulate or calm our young patients. The team has created singing games for children of all ages and abilities who are encouraged to make decisions in an environment where they sometimes feel that control has been taken away from them.

"Wow! Look at that smile; you've made her day." Mum of 3-year-old patient  

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Giggle Doctors

They say that laughter is the best medicine, and thanks to our partnership with Theodora’s Children’s Charity, the winderful Giggle Doctors are regular visitors to our wards. Funded by your donations, the “doctors” are professional performers, trained to work with children in a hospital environment. The team, including Dr Fowerpot man and others, is made up of actors, entertainers, magicians, musicians and singers.

By combining music, play, magic and storytelling the Giggle Doctors area welcome distraction for our patients - providing fun, laughter and special moments to our children and their families during   very challenging times.

 “We were so grateful to Giggle Doctors for distracting our son when he was so upset and trying to pull out his tube.  The bubbles really calmed him down and the singing put a smile on our faces too.”

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Let Us Play Appeal

Over £200,000 was raised to create bright and modern play spaces, suitable for kids of all ages, creating a safe, comfortable and relaxing environment, in three areas of the hospital, 24 hours a day.

Our play services bring a welcomed distraction to patients during an anxious and often scary time, creating an environment where fun and laughter is possible, where trust can be nurtured, anxieties overcome and where play is safe.

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Play area 1: The Burns Centre – Teenage Playroom.

Teenagers with burns can spend long periods of time with us due to the severe nature of their injuries, and during this time they need a safe, comfortable space where they can get away from it all, relax, play and socialise with others.  With the funds raised a drab room has been transformed into a modern chill-out pad!

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Play area 2: Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU).

Thanks to vital funds raised from the Let’s Play Appeal a new, much needed, vibrant play space has been created in our Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) - a very busy unit caring for children from 0-7 years old.

Initially it was expected that children would stay on the ward for just a matter of hours, which is why there was not dedicated playroom in PAU. But the average stay can vary between 24 to 48 hours and children can get very restless.  There was no space for children to play, socialise, or do group activities and children would often play in the corridor or beside their beds, having to move out of the way each time a trolley was wheeled past.  Now, thanks to your support, they have a new colourful play space totally changing the experience for PAU patients.

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Play area 3: Paediatric Surgery – Ward 9.

The playroom on Ward 9 was formerly a storage cupboard and had only recently been opened up for play.  This is a busy surgical ward, caring for children and young people from the age of 1-16 with a range of conditions, as well as emergency admissions.  The playroom needed to be made accessible to a wide range of ages, particularly teenagers who had nowhere to relax away from their beds and also needed to be somewhere they could use as creative space.  The playroom will provide a distraction from the ward.

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Eye Believe Appeal

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£312,000 raised by our supporters will transform the waiting room in our Eye Department.

Our Eye Department is home to a team of specialists who see over 10,625 children and young people with various conditions each year, travelling from across the UK, as far as Devon and Scotland.

The refurbishment will make a huge difference for over 500 children who visit our Eye Department every week for treatment.  Our Eye Department’s waiting area is currently out-dated, hot and overcrowded.  Lots of our little patients get upset and agitated whilst they wait, which means they are less likely to cooperate with the doctors and nurses when they are examined.

Thanks to generous donations we will be able to extend the space by 50%, providing more comfortable seating, space to park buggies and an exciting new play area with interactive toys suitable for children with visual impairments. This will make a world of difference to our children and their families during their visit to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Eye Department.

Case Study – Alfred

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22 month old Alfred is a patient and frequent visitor to our busy Eye department.  Alfred has developmental Glaucoma, a condition that occurs in babies and young children.  The condition can be inherited and is caused when the eye’s drainage system fails to fully develop before birth.

Alfred has to attend appointments at least once a month so his patient experience will be greatly enhanced by the refurbishment of our Eye Department.

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British Transplant Games

£23,000 per year from your donations enables Birmingham Children’s Hospital to enter a team of 45 transplant athletes into the British Transplant Games. Encouraging patients to bond, share stories and build support networks.

The Games aim to demonstrate the benefits of organ transplantation, encouraging participants to regain fitness, celebrate life and have fun.  Competitors take part in a variety of sports ranging from football, cricket and tennis to swimming and athletics.

The funds raised cover the costs of the competitor, supporter fees and accommodation for 45 transplant athletes, their families and five team managers for four days in the summer. Established in 1978, the event attracts athletes from across the UK helping to raise awareness of shortage of organ donors and encourage people to sign up to the organ donor register and talk to their loved ones about their wishes. By more people becoming organ donors, more lives may be saved and transformed.

 

Team Manager, Sara Clark said “The Games provide our patients with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all that they have overcome, and to achieve more than many of them ever thought possible.  A lot of the children who  take part have been very poorly and to see them compete, work together as a team and take such a pride in their success is wonderful for us as staff but even more so for them and their families.”

 

Case study - Kristof’s Story

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Kristof underwent a liver transplant when he was just three-years-old. Now a healthy nine-year-old, he has taken part in five Transplant Games and won gold medals in mini tennis, badminton and table tennis.  

His mum Erika said “We are so proud of Kristof’s achievements. The Games have become part of our summer routine and are always quite emotional - not only for us, but for all of the families who come together.

It makes you remember the difficult times but it’s also fantastic to see the children enjoying sport. This is something that’s been made possible because a donor has given us the gift of life and its lovely the annual event celebrates this.” NOTE WE NEED TO GET CONSENT FROM KRISTOF’S FAMILY AND AN IMAGE PRIOR TO THIS GOING LIVE