Explaining surgery with play

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity fund dedicated play specialists and play workers to design activities for children to aid their treatment, recovery and understanding of their illness and make their time in hospital as stress-free as possible. 

Boredom can be one of the worst things about being in hospital, and for some children, missing out on things like play can have a real and lasting impact on their lives.

Play can also help children and young people deal with fears or worries about hospital, their illness or treatment. As such, the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH) funds play specialists and play workers, who design activities for children to aid their treatment and make a child’s time in hospital as stress-free as possible.

Lynsey Steele, a play specialist at GOSH and a key member in the Give to GOSH appeal, featured in an emotive video showing how she uses play to prepare young patients for their treatment. The video is available on The Independent’s website and shows Lynsey using toys and medical equipment – such as cannulas, bandages and needles – to talk a four-year-old boy through what to expect when he receives a kidney transplant.

GO Create!

In another recent example of the role of creative play in a young person’s treatment, children waiting for kidney transplants at GOSH produced an animated video through the GO Create! arts programme, providing a patient’s perspective of treatment.

If the video is not showing, please watch it on YouTube

Working with the Foundling Museum, children on Eagle Ward provided illustrations to use in the animation, and explored the history of the museum and its links to GOSH.

Supporting a child through the play team or via creative projects from GO Create! provides help not only for the child, but for the whole family.

We need your help to support these vital projects, helping to make life as ‘normal’ as possible for families while their children are in hospital, often for weeks or months at a time.

Give to GOSH

Donate to the Give to GOSH appeal here and help fund a wide range of patient and family support projects.

Visit the Providing patient and family support page for more information on how your donation will help.