Spread a Smile is delighted to announce that we will be funding a Play Specialist role at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Spread a Smile regularly works with GOSH, offering our range of services to entertain and enhance the wellbeing of the children and young people under their care. This new role underlines the excellent working relationship between the two organisations and the importance of play and entertainment throughout a child’s healthcare journey.
Debbie Tropp (pictured here and above, pre pandemic), from Spread a Smile, who is a qualified Play Specialist, has taken on the role and started last month. Debbie will provide specialised therapeutic play and support, predominantly for 0-5 year olds with complex conditions, many of whom have spent large parts of their early life in hospital. She will support young children to achieve important milestones and provide creative and stimulating play opportunities that are crucial to effective coping and healthy development. The patients Debbie is supporting will be referred from multidisciplinary professionals across different areas of the hospital. She will also spend time in GOSH’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), providing stimulation and sensory input with long term patients who have complex needs.
Lucy Jackson, Chief Executive of Spread a Smile, said, “We’re thrilled to be working with the incredible team at Great Ormond Street Hospital and are delighted to be funding a Play Specialist role at the hospital. This position will enhance the support available to young patients who need this dedicated, long term support. Debbie has already spent time volunteering at GOSH and demonstrated how she is able, through play, to assist children and young people impacted by long term hospitalisation. This role will enable us to spread more smiles, joy and laughter to seriously ill children at GOSH.”
Laura Walsh, Head of Play Services at GOSH, said, “Spread a Smile are such amazing partners and are always so sensitive to the needs of patients here at GOSH. With the additional support from Debbie, the new Spread a Smile funded Play Specialist, we’ve been able to deliver play and therapeutic interventions for even more younger children in the Intensive Care Units. We are thrilled to be the first hospital to benefit from a Spread a Smile funded member of our team and it’s wonderful to see the difference these positive interactions are already making to our patients.”