A new playroom for children at West Middlesex University Hospital, funded with the support of the ‘local community to hospital’ charity CW+’s Sun and Stars Appeal, was officially opened on 10 April by the Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Samia Chaudhary.
Young patients, their families, and staff, were central to the design process, with specialist indoor play manufacturer, Tigerplay – who CW+ commissioned for the project. There was a particular focus on traditional play such as cars, trucks, a playhouse, and kitchen toys.
Previously, the playroom was outdated and in need of refurbishment, but the facility has been ‘transformed’ into a bright, fun and welcoming environment equipped with activities and toys suitable for all young patients. There is a sensory area, which CW+ describes as ‘vital to support children with additional needs such as autism and epilepsy’, bespoke sensory lighting and equipment – which can be adjusted to provide a calming environment, and a specially designed ‘Wendy house’, fully equipped with toy kitchen, play cots, and a garden area for cars and trucks. The playroom’s walls have been painted with bright colours and fun wall vinyls installed, and there is plenty of space for arts and crafts activities, including a new display cabinet to proudly display children’s artwork.
Teenage patients on the ward have their own, separate dedicated space, which was also recently developed as part of CW+’s Sun and Stars Appeal and transformed thanks to the support of local company, SEGA.
Natalie Cummins, Senior Play specialist, said: “We could not be happier with our new playroom. Our inpatient children’s wards see over 8,000 children every year, and they are often very unwell, in pain, and distressed. This new playroom gives them somewhere to play and just be children again. Tigerplay has created exactly what our children wanted, and the high quality finish will mean it is durable for many years to come.”
The CW+ Sun and Stars Appeal is a £150,000 appeal ‘to transform the whole children’s inpatient ward into a fun and child-friendly environment’. Over £100,000 has already been raised thanks to local community support.