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Music, Arts and Play

Step into Bristol Children's Hospital and you instantly know it was designed with children in mind: fun, colourful artwork adorns the walls, nurses’ stations look like trains and boats, and outside, the iconic ‘Lollipop’ sculpture we funded in 2001, is a landmark icon for the hospital.

We work to make Bristol Children's Hospital the very best it can be. Through funding a diverse and creative Arts Programme and running our Music and Play Therapy service, we ensure the hospital is a vibrant and child-friendly place, that supports patients in their time of need.

Arts, crafts and interactive play

From immersive theatre sessions and painting workshops to interactive, imaginative storytelling, our extensive Arts Programme extends across Bristol Children's Hospital, aiming to ease the stresses and fears that come with hospital life for brave patients and their brothers and sisters. At the helm is our Arts Coordinator, Lynne, who took up the role after 17 years as Play Centre Manager at the children’s hospital!

Lynne

Lynne is our dedicated Arts Coordinator!

Working with Bristol's wealth of creative talent, Lynne invites a range of artists behind the doors of Bristol Children's Hospital to offer its patients a range of exciting workshops. Meanwhile, the Activities Centre at the Hospital is home to a whole host of arts activities with musicians and artists all year round.

A closer look at our Arts Programme

Vibrant Artwork

Hospital can so often be scary and stressful for children. We work to make sure Bristol Children's Hospital provides a fun, stimulating and comforting space for the 100,000 brave children it cares for every single year. Not only is it important to patients’ wellbeing, but distracts them from treatment. That's why you'll see the walls of Bristol Children's Hospital awash with colourful characters, engaging artwork and eye-catching patterns.

Theatre Artwork

Some of our space-themed artwork at Bristol Children's Hospital

Music Therapy

We don’t just fund services, we run them. As part of our Music Therapy service, our fantastic Grand Appeal Music Therapists Karen and Claire bring smiles to over 30 children each week with their group and solo sessions. Whether they’re banging a drum, strumming the guitar or playing the flute, they visit each and every ward as well as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Musical activities range from songwriting and sound effects, to rhythmic drumming and ukulele lessons, and the team also runs sessions for groups and families. Music Therapy is particularly impactful for children who are non-verbal and pre-verbal, and for those who are struggling emotionally with a long stay in hospital.

Play and Sensory Play

As well as our two Music Therapists, our Sensory Play Practitioner and Oncology Play Assistants play vital roles in supporting the patients and families cared for at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Sensory play at Bristol Children's Hospital
Cancer Patient in a play session
Seb sensory play
Sensory Play Practitioner with patient
Oncology Play Assistant with patient
Patient on sensory play swing

The power of play is an incredibly important tool. Armed with plenty of toys and games our Play Assistants help children leave the stresses of hospital life and treatment behind through engaging and exciting play sessions.

Meanwhile, our Sensory Play Practitioner Marius works with children aged 0-17 years with special and additional needs across all specialties, inviting them to explore an array of sights, sounds and surfaces within his sensory play room. Sensory play is an essential part of child development and is particularly effective as an outlet for children who are in pain, distressed or anxious about their stay in hospital.

If you're interested in finding out more about how we fund sensory play and are interested in supporting this special service, please see our Play 4 All Business Challenge.

“The physio, arts, play and neurorehabilitation teams have all been absolutely incredible and feel like our family here. Seb has made massive progress, and Marius has played a huge role in that.”

Abby

Seb's mum

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