The team is so delighted to return to face-to-face visits at some of our NHS hospital partners that we haven’t visited since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Patients have been more isolated than ever before and most professionals they see in the hospital are medical. Face-to-face visits with Spread a Smile entertainers provide an important distraction from treatment and normalise the hospital environment, allowing patients to connect, relax and be children rather than patients.
We were so happy to include a face-to-face hospital visit with our brand new therapy dog, Smartie who visited children at St Mary’s Hospital. We also visited King’s College Hospital and University College Hospital. These interactions will continue in addition to our continuous virtual entertainment.
Laura Walter, Director of Services at Spread a Smile explains below the fantastic impact a furry friend can have on the patients, families and staff on a hospital visit.
“Stroking a dog is extremely therapeutic and helps patients to feel relaxed and calm in the hospital environment. Therapy dog visits are always super popular with patients, parents and staff – giving everyone a much needed lift!”
11-17 October was Play in Hospital Week which raises awareness of the benefits of play in the treatment of poorly children across the UK. It is therefore was an important date in our diary too and our programme of play activities for children and teenagers under the care of our NHS partner hospitals included art, singing, dancing and makaton magic.
We received this feedback about our makaton magic session from Ellisa Butcher, Learning Disability Link Senior Play Worker:
“I just wanted to say thank you so much for the magic makaton Zoom. It was absolutely fantastic and so lovely to have a Zoom so accessible and appropriate for some of our patients with additional needs and communication needs. I know the patients all loved it and found it very engaging. I have also had several comments about how fantastic Daniel was at adapting the session to be appropriate for all patients and engaging them all well.”
The image below is of Smartie the therapy dog who visited children at St Mary’s Hospital with fairy Ellie.