Birmingham Children’s Hospital has unveiled its new playground at a special-ribbon cutting event, after the public raised £230,000 to help revitalise the vital resource, which is used by thousands of sick kids who visit the hospital every year.

The playground provides fresh air, exercise and somewhere for the children to relax and be themselves in a non-clinical environment. However, after more than 13 years of constant use it was in desperate need of a refurbishment. Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s Out to Play Appeal raised the much-needed £230,000 thanks to generous donations by members of the public, local businesses and community groups.

The playground was officially unveiled by Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust CEO, Sarah-Jane Marsh, Hospital Play Lead, Sue Davies and the Turner family. The Turners, from Stafford, have been regular visitors to our playground whilst daughter Millie, 11, receives treatment for a rare chromosome syndrome called Potocki Lupski Syndrome. The area has given her family, including siblings Flo, nine, and Stanley, six, some degree of normality during their visits and is so important to them, they were inspired to fundraise for the appeal.

They were happy to see the new playground finally unveiled, as Millie’s mum Kathryn explains: “We’re so thrilled to be invited back and see the finished playground – it looks fantastic! The playground has provided a little bubble of fun and relief for Millie and her siblings during some tough times and I’m pleased it’s open again for others to enjoy. We’ll no doubt be spending more time here, as Millie undergoes future treatment, so it’s a relief to know there’s somewhere for the kids to go and play and just be children.”

The new interactive playground includes features such as a basketball net, an interactive wall, a climbing frame and a swing – the first time the playground has had a swing.

Sue Davies, Play Lead at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, comments: “We’re absolutely blown away with the new playground – it’s surpassed all of our expectations and we’re so grateful to everyone who donated to help make it a reality. The playground really is a vital resource for us, as play can have a huge impact on children in hospital – helping them to relax and distracting them from any treatment ahead. We’re so pleased it’s finally open for our patients and families to enjoy.”