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Play in hospitals is just what the doctor ordered

Play in hospitals is just what the doctor ordered

A therapy dog, a children’s entertainer and a host of art and craft activities brightened a day for young hospital patients celebrating the first-ever International Day of Play.

The day recognises the importance of play in children’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical development, and promotes playful interaction between parents, caregivers and  young people.

The play teams at Basildon, Broomfield and Southend Hospitals organised a range of activities for patients on the children’s wards of the hospitals.

Well-known local children’s entertainer Skittleman also delighted young patients across all three hospitals at their bedsides with his interactive shows, whilst patients at Southend  lapped up the appearance of Louis, a therapy dog.

Parent, Crystal Home, said: "Even though Mabel is so young, she seemed to really respond to the therapy dog visit. It’s amazing how something as simple as a cuddle can make such a difference."

Mum Stacey Willson, from Southend, said: “Having the play team there with all these fun activities really made a difference for my son, George. It took his mind off everything for a while, and they were having a blast. It's incredible how much play can help them cope with everything.”

Lisa Kawa-Akenbo, Lead Health Play Specialist at the Trust, said: "Play isn't just fun, it's important for a child's growth and social, learning, physical and emotional wellbeing. It’s been exciting to celebrate the International Day of Play at our hospitals in this way.”

The play team’s specially trained professionals organised this event with support from Pod Charity, which helps the community in many ways, including education and health improvement.

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