Play with a Purpose packs to continue to be given to sick children

Wednesday August 15, 2012

​Donations totalling $20,000 will allow Play with a Purpose packs to continue to be given to sick children at Christchurch Hospital.

In March, Canterbury District Health Board's Child Health Service announced that new sponsorship was being sought for the packs, which cost around $5 each to produce and contain a few small toys to provide a distraction for children, admitted to the Children's Acute Assessment Unit (CAAU), when they undergo tests and procedures.

Anne Morgan, CDHB Child Health Service Manager, says CAAU has this week gratefully received two donations of $5000 each from Mike Greer of Mike Greer Homes, a local award winning company and Val Lee from Altrusa International Christchurch.

The unit has also recently received a $10,000 donation from the Christchurch Hospital Volunteers to go towards the packs.

"We would like to thank Mike, Val and the Hospital Volunteers for their outstanding help and effort which I am sure will bring smiles to the faces of the children in the unit for many more months to come," Anne says.

The Play with a Purpose packs were introduced in 2008 after a successful pilot programme and a win at the CDHB Quality, Improvement and Innovation Awards. The pilot was introduced by hospital play specialists and CAAU nurses who had researched a similar programme in the United States to help families cope with hospitalisation.

Results of the pilot showed they benefit children, parents/caregivers, whanau and staff, reducing and managing anxiety, frustration and discomfort. The packs are a vital part of normalising and reducing the traumatic experience of the patients who are attending the unit. 

Items vary depending on age but can include bubble mixture, a squeezy ball, stickers or a book. An information card explaining to parents/caregivers how to distract the child using the toys is also part of the pack.

Page last reviewed: 24 July 2013