Meet the Play team
The GOSH Play team want to share and celebrate play both in a hospital setting and at home. Everyone has times where they have feelings that are hard to manage. Here, the team share what they know works well within the hospital environment and can work well at home too. Together we can support families and celebrate the power of play.
Charlotte Holt, Play specialist on Eagle ward
I work on Eagle ward, and within the renal team. This includes working closely with haemodialysis patients and kidney transplant patients, both in hospital on the wards, and in clinics in preparation for transplants. I meet patients in clinics long before transplant, and work with them to learn all about their transplants until they are experts themselves.
"It’s so rewarding to see them grow from being so fearful and anxious, to achieving things they never knew they could, and sometimes in a really short space of time!"
Sian Spencer-Little, Deputy Head of Play Services
In my role as deputy head of play, I support the whole team advocating for the role of play, and the role of play worker and health play specialist across the hospital and externally.
Being able to be present, to advocate for play within a busy clinical setting, is so rewarding. The joy play brings, the difference it makes, and being part of such an amazing team that is dedicated and supportive of providing a positive patient experience. It is a joy to celebrate all their achievements, learning, and best practice as experts in play.
"I love foam and cornflour activities, balanced out with relaxing story sharing moments."
Kimberley Millar, Play worker on Bear and Flamingo wards
I love play that is creative, messy and sensory! I share lots of my activities on my @playinhospital Instagram page to share my ideas for people to try!
"The most rewarding part of my role is making children and family smile, knowing I have made a difference to their time in hospital."
Claudia Monteiro, Play worker on Butterfly Ward I&PC
Play is a way for children to interact socially, have some physical activity and stimulate their creativity, intellect, and emotions. My role as a Play worker is to be able to provide that in a hospital environment. Sometimes in a playroom, sometimes in a cubicle. The challenge of the job is to turn a potentially stressful environment into something fun.
"I love when I knock on the door and come in a child’s room and they smile straightaway when they see the purple uniform. They know it’s time to play and have fun."
Laura Walsh, Head of Play
The Play team can be the first voice a child hears from the hospital before they even walk through the door; it’s reassuring to know there's someone at the hospital to make the visit as fun as possible.
We’ve fine-tuned our ability to know what’s frightening and know how to explain the technical aspects of treatments in a way that is easier to understand and accept.
"At GOSH, I make it a mission to be ready for as many requests as possible, from slime to tie dye to lego creations, I need to know where to find resources and be in a play-ready mind-set."