Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity has taken delivery of seven brand new state-of-the-art Game Stations, which have been funded entirely by one of the charity’s fundraising families – the Chattings from Lichfield – and will provide entertainment for sick children on the hospital’s Oncology ward.

Affectionately known as ‘Carter the Brave’, the family has raised over £160,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity over the last three years, after Lucy and Matthew Chatting’s son Carter, seven, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, a type of cancer which affects the white blood cells.

Like many patients on the hospital’s Oncology ward, due to his condition, Carter has often had to spend long periods of time in bed or isolation, unable to move around, which can be very tiresome and frustrating. So when the family learned that the Oncology department was looking to purchase some bespoke mobile entertainment units, the Chattings felt it was the perfect project for them to fund, using part of the money they had raised for the charity.

The hospital commissioned Leeds-based commercial play solutions company SLKids, who developed and manufactured the units. They created a unique design, with input from both the hospital and Carter, with each system housing an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 console able to play games, DVDs and music. The system also includes relaxing LED lighting and USB charge points for the child. They are completely mobile allowing movement between patients and wards, and with its design reminiscent of the hospital over-the-bed table, the units can be used by children who are too poorly to leave their beds.

Named GameStation Move, these units are the first of their kind and as of yet, no other hospital in the UK has them. From the end of September SLKids will market GameStation Move to other hospitals around the world, with £50 from each sale being donated to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Lucy Chatting, from Carter the Brave, comments: “From our time spent at Birmingham Children’s Hospital with Carter, we know how much of a lifeline any kind of entertainment is for the patients and their families. We’re absolutely thrilled that our fundraising has been able to support this project, and that Carter the Brave has had the chance to work with the hospital and SLKids to develop a means to offer children, like Carter, a moment of respite and take them away from the horrendous reality of why they’re in the hospital.”  

Mike Black, Director at SLKids, said: “We’re proud to have worked with Birmingham Children’s Hospital for a number of years now and have created a number of spaces for play within the hospital, but until now all of these have been very much aimed at children who are able to leave their beds to use equipment.

“When we got the call asking us to work with Carter the Brave, we jumped at the chance to create an accessible game station with no limitations for patients. We’re so excited to have developed this completely unique product and hope it will benefit other patients and hospitals in the future.”

Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “GameStation Move is going to make such a difference to our patients. One of the key aims of our charity is to improve the hospital environment and experience for our kids and families and these will definitely help to do that. We’re so thankful to the Chattings for their support and are pleased that we’re the first children’s hospital in the UK to be able to offer something like this to our patients.”