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Addenbrooke's celebrates £450,000 refurb of paediatric day unit


By Adrian Curtis


Trainee Play Specialist, Jade Allard plays with patient, Lulu de Vries, 5, at the newly refurbished Paediatric Day Unit at Addenbrookes Hospital. Picture - Richard Marsham
Trainee Play Specialist, Jade Allard plays with patient, Lulu de Vries, 5, at the newly refurbished Paediatric Day Unit at Addenbrookes Hospital. Picture - Richard Marsham

Work was supported by the community and the Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

Young patients will be able to use new wall-mounted play systems as Addenbrooke’s completed a £450,000 refurbishment of its paediatric day unit (PDU).

The work has been supported by the community and Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT), raising more than £450,000 to provide facilities that go beyond what is available through NHS funding alone.

The refurbishment included work from artist Alex Naidoo, who specially created some inspiring pieces for the unit, and interactive wall-mounted play systems to occupy the children waiting in clinics.

Simone Wilby, mum to Kodie who has been attending the PDU since a kidney tumour diagnosis three years ago, said: “It sounds strange but Kodie actually looks forward to coming to ‘big hospital’ now and gets excited about playing with the toys and new equipment.

“He especially loves the sensory equipment and wall- mounted play system – it keeps his mind busy so that he’s not thinking about anything else. It removes the stress from both him and me.”

The fundraising pot included £250,000 from supporters.

Last week the hospital trust celebrated its children’s services as well as the refurbishment of the PDU, with tea and cakes forming part of children’s week at the hospital.

The celebrations included a week of activity highlighting how donations have made a real difference to children at the hospital, and how ACT needs to raise much-needed funds for a range of life-saving equipment, specialist support staff roles and pioneering research to transform care for sick children at Addenbrooke’s.

Donations so far this year have raised £1million for children’s services and because of this, ACT has been able to:

■ continue to fund the music therapy programme, allowing the most vulnerable and isolated children the opportunity to express their feelings and build confidence and self-esteem during treatment and recovery

■ fund a cancer care co-ordinator post to provide a continuous point of contact for families, ensuring they have a smoother, quicker and less stressful experience while freeing up the time of specialist nurses

■ made transformational improvements happen in the PDU to make children and families more comfortable, ease congestion and reduce the risk of cross-infection.

One of the projects ACT is raising funds for is an additional children’s nursery nurse play specialist to help ensure that all children who need it have access to therapeutic play. It is also looking to buy interactive digital wall bubbles to help distract children and their siblings during consultations and further mobile sensory units to promote interactive and calming play in the hospital setting, particularly for younger and more frightened children.

One of the special events during the week took place at the Grand Arcade in Cambridge.

ACT’s pop-up stand provided shoppers with the opportunity to purchase specially designed children’s T-shirts with all proceeds supporting the children’s appeal.



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