Variety has decades of experience of providing support and care for children in hospital and recognises how alien an environment a hospital can sometimes be. That’s why Variety, supported by Stonegate Pub Company, funded sensory equipment at Derriford to enable the Play Service to help their young patients and encourage their development and independence. The space being created for them will have access for wheelchairs and beds ensuring accessibility for all. The sensory play equipment provides a distraction and a more reassuring environment, helping with physical, social and emotional development.

Play Specialist Team leader, Sue Rodgers, said:

“All the children and staff are very enthusiastic about the new equipment within our sensory room. It was being used the day after the equipment was installed, in particular by our long term patients who have been eagerly waiting for its arrival.

Our children will benefit from the relaxing environment with the calming lights and projected pictures and our UV equipment will aid those children with visual difficulties.

I feel that we are only just starting to see the benefits of this space and equipment and we are looking forward to developing the experiences that the patients will receive.

One young girl, who had to stay in her own cubicle for 3 days because of her condition, was taken to the sensory room on her own. Her face lit up and she became completely animated. Her mother was thrilled. Many children who are withdrawn due to their illnesses, become enthusiastic when they know they are going to the sensory room. It is an amazing resource to have.”