1 February 2022

Charity provides early year education for patients

Southampton Hospitals Charity is proud to announce that Piggles Trust, a body that facilitates the early years education of young patients aged 2-5 years within Southampton Children’s Hospital has now merged into a fund within Southampton Hospitals Charity.

Piggles Trust was set up in 2017 by Caroline and Edward Martin in memory of their late daughter and successfully funded the first hospital-based nursery teacher in the country at Southampton Children’s Hospital.

Whilst provision for long-term patients of school age is met by the hospital school, there was nothing in place for those under the age of five.

When children are in hospital, they suffer considerably by missing out on vital education that ordinarily they would receive. Those at pre-school age are at a crucial learning stage. This is where our dedicated Nursery Nurse, Lorraine, comes in. She says:

“It is about creating a normal environment within the most abnormal of situations. I work with the children at their bedside through one-hour sessions, mirroring what activities they would have been doing at pre-school. This could be messy play, reading stories, or practicing fine motor skills.

“I tailor each session as much as I can towards the patient’s interests e.g. dinosaurs or vehicles, as that helps the child to engage with the session. No day is the same!

“Every child has a learning journal, and at the end of the session, I will write up what we did and include a photo so that their parents can see what their child has done that day.

“I love the work. It’s challenging, it’s emotional, but it is so rewarding to help children in hospital. If I can make a child smile, I’ve done a good job, if I can make a child laugh, I’ve done a better job!”

Southampton Hospitals Charity is proud to continue Piggles Trust legacy.

Help us educate children whilst they are in hospital.

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