Play is medicine too!

One of our on-going community projects is providing art materials to the Children’s Clinic at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Brian House, the Specialist Children’s Unit within Trinity Hospice.

Funded by The Arts Society Fylde’s good causes, Boby storage trolleys have been donated to the children’s units at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Brian House. Both units use art to help children deal with their illnesses and help to put a smile on the faces of sick children.

The first invoice for art materials for both units was dated 21 November 2014. In 2016, two volunteers were asked to and accepted the role of supplying the art material to the two venues within the confines of the money given by the The Arts Society Fylde’s Executive Committee.

When the Children’s Out-Patients and Brian House were first contacted they were overjoyed at the prospect of more materials. They asked for plastic trolleys that could be used outside when the weather permitted. The trolleys were fully stocked with paper and art supplies to suit the needs of different children and a commitment was made to restock them on a regular basis. Since then, there has always been a discussion about the basic art materials – drawing and painting paper, card, paints, crayons, pencils and collage materials. Where there was money within the budget, we could then have a discussion about materials that would benefit the various particular needs of both units.

There is no money given for art material by the hospital. The Hospital Play Specialist is so grateful for our Society’s money that, each year, she has sent thank you cards from the children and herself to the Committee. Once a month there is a monthly forum of long-term patients. A professor who comes from Manchester with his team to assess the children, iis most impressed by the art material in Victoria Hospital. He said there is nothing like it in Manchester.

When a Brian House Specialist was asked if our help was useful she said: “It is invaluable. If the money comes through a donation I don’t have to take it out of our small budget for crafts. Art and crafts are very important to the children as it is a way of expressing themselves. It is wonderful to have the support of The Arts Society Fylde. It means a great deal.”

A letter to The Arts Society Fylde from the Hospital Play Specialist at the Children’s Clinic Out Patients Department said, “We cannot thank you enough for choosing the Children’s Clinic as there are lots of fantastic causes. I am so grateful you did decide to choose us. The trolley is totally amazing and used every single day.”

Our good causes account is mainly funded through the raffles we hold at all of our lectures and other events. Our thanks to those members and volunteers who make this possible.