Our Current Campaign - Wellbeing Rocks

Find out more and donate to our current campaign

“You can help to put a smile on a child’s face even when they face the unknown which in turn helps them and the parent feel held and supported.”

Hannah, Bodhi’s mummy.

Why wellbeing is important

Going through a painful medical procedure, spending a long time in hospital, or learning how to manage the impact of a long-term health diagnosis can be really difficult for a child or young person, not just on their physical health but also their mental health and wellbeing.

Supporting a patient’s wellbeing is an incredibly important part of healthcare and actively impacts on the health outcomes of children and young people.

If children feel brave enough to go to the appointment they are so frightened to go to, it means that fewer appointments are missed or delayed, and children and families have a less anxiety-provoking waiting time to undergo the treatment they so desperately need.

Or for older children, feeling they have a place to talk about what’s going on for them, somewhere where they don’t feel like the different one, or the ill one, but just a normal kid dealing with a health condition they don’t want and never asked for.

So please take a minute to read on and find out more about how you can help support thousands of children with their mental health and wellbeing while being treated in hospital.

Wellbeing is more than just a nice bit of distraction. It helps children manage incredibly difficult conditions. It supports families to get through the biggest challenges of their lives. It saves the NHS time and money.

It saves lives.

 

Meet Bodhi

Bodhi is five years old. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with Leukaemia and since then he has been receiving treatment at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital since then.

During that time, Bodhi and Hannah have had first-hand experience of the impact that our wellbeing services can have on children and families spending time in hospital.

Spending weeks at a time on the wards, it can be really difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s boring. But having toys to play with, activities to enjoy, or things to take their minds off their situation, make all the difference.

It means that they are able to cope with such an enormously difficult situation, be able to take their minds of the fear and pain, and just feel like a normal family.

As well as being Bodhi’s mum, Hannah is a trained councillor and award-winning children’s author, writing beautiful stories that help children develop their emotional intelligence. She understands how important it is for children to learn how to understand their emotions, enabling them to develop resilience and coping skills, have a positive sense of self, develop good relationships, feel more confident and be more empathic.

“You can make it a little easier for a mum who doesn’t know how she is going to keep putting one foot in front of the other by providing access to extra help like art therapy, music and counselling sessions all in one place. They don’t require more hoops to jump through, or paperwork to wade through, when she has enough challenges dumped at her door.”

Hannah

Help for hundreds more

To make sure this wellbeing support is there for the hundreds of local families like Hannah and Bodhi, we are fundraising to create the Southeast’s very first dedicated Wellbeing Service at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.

This means children and their families have access to the right support, at the right time, in the right place. Support that can make all the difference to a child’s ability to manage their treatment and make the most of their lives.

Take a minute to watch this video to see how important the new Wellbeing Service is for children, families and medical professionals at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.

Over the past few years, we have funded some brilliant wellbeing projects.

Projects like sea swimming, woodland wellbeing days, art therapy, and counselling services that help to reduce stress levels, contributing to a more positive mental state, which can, in turn, positively influence the body’s ability to heal and respond to medical treatments.

Projects to create play and recreation areas within the hospital that help maintain a sense of normality during a stay in hospital, supporting children’s physical health and helping their recovery.

Projects focusing on supporting the families of young patients such as support groups and counselling, helping families feel supported and better equipped to navigate the challenges of a child’s illness, making it more likely for the child to receive consistent care and follow medical advice.

We know these projects can lower blood pressure and relieve anxiety, making treatment easier and safer for the NHS professionals.

We know they positively contribute to the holistic care of young patients by addressing their emotional, psychological, and social needs.

We know that by enhancing the overall quality of life for children and their families, these projects support medical treatments, improve resilience, and contribute to positive health outcomes.

We know that these services make a real difference. But we want to do more.

This new service will expand on these projects by bring them all in-house and offering them to a much wider group of children across more paediatric departments within the hospital.

“Imagine being a paediatric patient, especially if you have a long-term illness like Cystic Fibrosis, diabetes or asthma. It’s really daunting and can leave long lasting emotional scars. This is where the wellbeing projects step in; offering a glimmer of hope and comfort in the midst of adversity.” 

“Wellbeing projects play a crucial role in fostering a sense of normality for our hospitalised children. By engaging in fun and interactive activities, they are able to regain a sense of control over their lives, despite the impact of their underlying illness. 

“But perhaps most importantly, these projects provide a sense of community and support for children and their families. Through shared experiences and camaraderie, children find comfort in knowing that they are not alone.” 

Dr Oli Rahman, Consultant Paediatrician and Rockinghorse Chair of Trustees

To make sure more families like Hannah and Bodhi can get the vital help they need to manage their difficult health journeys, please help us create our new Wellbeing Service.

 

Here’s what your donation will mean:

  • £10 – Would pay for the art materials for an arts therapy session supporting children understand and express their emotions.
  • £25 – Would pay for a music therapy session with a baby and their parents in the Trevor Mann Baby Unit
  • £50 – Would pay for a cinema night – enabling children to enjoy a ‘night out’ even when they are in hospital.
  • £100 – Would pay for one young person to go on a residential weekend to help them understand and manage their condition.
  • £200 – Would pay for one of our drive-on vehicles helping children and parents manage their anxiety through surgery.
  • £500 – Would pay for one eight-week mindfulness group for children undergoing cancer treatment.
  • £1,000 – Could pay for one week of the wellbeing service.

Whatever you can spare really will make all the difference.

Donate to our campaign below

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Giving a small amount on an ongoing basis allows us to plan ahead so that we can give our families the long-term wellbeing support they need. It also means we can be confident that we’ll be able to continue this important work for years to come.