Chichester Hospital teenage room refurbishment

Young people spending time in St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester now have a great new...

Young people spending time in St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester now have a great new space to relax and escape thanks to a newly refurbished teenage room, funded by Rockinghorse.

Paul Peacock, Youth Worker at St Richard’s and Rockinghorse Champion, applied for funding to refurbish the teenage room they had on the children’s ward at the hospital after it was re-opened following the pandemic.

For many teenage patients, spending time in hospital for physical or mental health reasons can be boring or stressful, leaving them with their own thoughts and without anything to distract them. This can make their time much harder and feel longer, neither of which help their recovery.

Paul explains, “If a young person comes to hospital because of a mental health issue, it can be a scary experience and a brave one to reach our and ask for support. They are then asked lots of questions by professionals such as why they are in hospital, how they are feeling or what’s happened to them, all of which can be challenging for them, especially if they don’t have the right resources or space to relax of take their mind of things.”

They are likely to be scared or anxious about what might happen, so having a comfortable room that is designed with these things in mind can offer them a space away from their bed to spend some time doing some different activities which can distract them from the thoughts, even just for a little while.

In addition, young people might also feel more comfortable to talk to people while engaging in different activities, helping them to open up to staff a bit more easily.

David added, “In my role I try to build trusting relationships with young people in which they might feel more comfortable to talk. Using games and activities is a good way to help form these relationships, get to know each other, and build trust.”

The room had been unused for several years and desperately needed new seating, storage and tables, ideally with a sofa that could be used to watch TV or play video games.

It also needed to be redecorated to make it feel less clinical and less like a hospital space, ideally with some posters or murals.

Projects like this can often take a while to complete, with time needed to liaising with the building managers, ensuring it adheres to infection control and health and safety guidelines, and arranging all the furniture and decoration, but the room has now been completed and looks amazing.

Along with great new sectional sofa, fantastic storage and loads of additional creative resources, the room also features a wonderful wall painting depicting a fantastic space themed scene.

Sharon Gearing, Head of Trust Fundraising at Rockinghorse said, “It’s so wonderful to see the new room with all it’s furniture and activities in. This space will make such a massive difference to the experience of young people coming to hospital, and also hopefully help with their treatment and recovery.

“We want to say a massive thank you to all the staff here at St Richard’s for organising the refurbishment and to Chichester District Council who gave us a grant towards the cost. Their support will make a huge impact on hundreds of young people coming to the hospital.”

The room is already being regularly used by patients and staff and it’s sure to be an invaluable resource in the years to come.

A massive thanks to Paul for his initial funding request and to Health Play Specialists Kerry Brunnen and Shelly Hill who project managed the room from start to finish.