2 June 2023

Specialist play retreat opens in children’s hospital

The G4 ward at Southampton Children’s Hospital is the specialist children’s surgery, urology, and kidney ward, treating hundreds of patients every year.

Thanks to funding from Southampton Hospitals Charity, the G4 ward play retreat, known as The Den, was officially opened on Friday 2 June by both former and current patients of the ward, Matti Carrington and Alice Woods.

Six-month-old Milo Bendall was one of the first patients to use the Den.

Mum, Ellie, says “The hospital is our life at the moment. We came into hospital back in January when Milo was only eight weeks old as we were referred to Southampton from our local hospital in Dorset. He has since had multiple surgeries to remove a hernia and the parts of his bowel that were not working.

Now the play retreat is open, Milo loves to come into this room as much as possible, and the bubble machine and mirrors are a firm favourite. He could play in here all day!”

Kate Saltrick, Head of Fundraising for Southampton Hospitals Charity, said “Our children’s hospital provides outstanding care to our patients; however, the old playroom didn’t match the world-class care. The room was outdated and wasn’t suitable for older children.

We are delighted to have fully funded this refurbishment thanks to our incredible supporters and our ongoing partnership with Paultons Park.

The room now features an array of sensory equipment to entertain and distract our patients including two projectors, a bubble machine, an infinity wall, and much more.

It also features lockable storage to keep the room tidy, and a DVD player for older children to have movie nights on the ward.”

Richard Mancey, Managing Director of Paultons Park, commented: “The difference Southampton Hospitals Charity has on the lives of patients is immense, and it is a huge pleasure to see the play retreat open.

From bake sales to skydives, the Paultons team and our guests have undertaken great feats to fundraise for the charity, and I speak on behalf of everyone at Paultons Park when I say we are so proud to support such a brilliant cause.”

Work will begin on the second play retreat on our G3 orthopaedic ward in summer 2023.

Photos: Progression of the play retreat and grand opening!

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