Specialist play retreat opens in children's ward
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Specialist play retreat opens in children's ward

Nov 19, 2023

A specialist play retreat has been created at a Southampton children's hospital.

The Den was opened in the G4 ward at Southampton Children's Hospital by former and current patients of the ward.

The ward cares for hundreds of children every year, specialising in children's surgery, urology, and kidneys.

The room is full of a range of sensory equipment including two projectors, a bubble machine, and an infinity wall.

Six-month-old Milo Bendall was one of the first patients to use the Den.

Mum Ellie said: "The hospital is our life at the moment.

"We came into hospital back in January when Milo was only eight weeks old as we were referred to Southampton from our local hospital in Dorset.

"He has since had multiple surgeries to remove a hernia and the parts of his bowel that were not working.

"Now the play retreat is open, Milo loves to come into this room as much as possible, and the bubble machine and mirrors are a firm favourite.

"He could play in here all day."

The playroom was funded by Southampton Hospitals Charity and it is hoped the play retreat will offer young patients and their families respite during their hospital stay.

Kate Saltrick, head of fundraising for Southampton Hospitals Charity, said: "Our children's hospital provides outstanding care to our patients; however, the old playroom didn't match the world-class care.

"The room was outdated and wasn't suitable for older children.

"We are delighted to have fully funded this refurbishment thanks to our incredible supporters and our ongoing partnership with Paultons Park.

"The room now features an array of sensory equipment to entertain and distract our patients including two projectors, a bubble machine, an infinity wall, and much more."

Richard Mancey, managing director of Paultons Park, said: "The difference Southampton Hospitals Charity has on the lives of patients is immense, and it is a huge pleasure to see the play retreat open.

"From bake sales to skydives, the Paultons team and our guests have undertaken great feats to fundraise for the charity, and I speak on behalf of everyone at Paultons Park when I say we are so proud to support such a brilliant cause."