Magical Power of Play Appeal

The aim of the Magical Power of Play Appeal is to provide essential play resources to sick children in hospital across the UK (excluding Scotland). We aim to assist Health Play Specialists by supporting the objectives of play therapy in hospital and enhance a child’s journey through their hospital experience.

ACTION FOR SICK CHILDREN’S Charter for Children’s Health Services states that ‘Every child in hospital shall have full opportunity for play, recreation and education’. (Point 8 – insert link to charter here) As a children’s healthcare charity ACTION FOR SICK CHILDREN is concerned that due to a lack of funding for play in hospitals around the country, every sick child in hospital does not always have these opportunities despite the efforts of Health Play Specialists.

When children are admitted to hospital they are at their most vulnerable. A visit to hospital can not only be a challenge, but also frightening and very traumatic, exceptionally so in emergency situations. The children are not only unwell, but they are also separated from their family, friends and familiar surroundings which can lead to increased stress. Play is vital for the development of any child and within a hospital environment it is often used to fulfil many other purposes: –

  • Distract a child who is facing a painful or difficult procedure
  • Reduce the risk of disturbance to the child by proper preparation
  • Increase the child’s ability to cope with a hospital admission
  • Enhance the children’s understanding of their treatment and illness
  • Create an environment where stress and anxiety are reduced
  • Provide an outlet for feelings and frustrations
  • Reassure the child that his/her body is still functioning
  • Children regain confidence, self-esteem, and independence
  • Allow children to participate in familiar activities
  • Assist healing and rehabilitation and minimise regression
  • Encourages involvement of families and siblings

ACTION FOR SICK CHILDREN recently conducted a survey of Health Play Specialists across the UK (excluding Scotland) to investigate what problems they face when trying to support sick children in hospital. The two key points coming out of the survey were:

  • EVERY response highlighted the lack of budget for play resources.
  • An astounding 94% of participants declared that they spend their OWN money to provide some of the basic essentials required to conduct their activities.

One Health Play Specialist stated:

“It is like asking a mechanic to mend a car without giving them a toolbox; it makes our job so much more difficult.”

Sadly the NHS’s restricted budget leaves minimal (if any) funding available for Play Therapy and resources; and so the Magical Power of Play Appeal (MPOPA) was born!

For details of the first box presentation please visit our News Page

Children are our future,
it’s up to us to take care of them