Starlight Celebrate Everyday Heroes during National Play in Hospital Week

Starlight have had another action-packed week of play for this year’s National Play in Hospital Week!

The annual event, run by the National Association of Health Play Specialists (NAHPS) and supported by Starlight, raises awareness of the positive impact of play in the treatment of sick children and young people.

This year’s National Play in Hospital Week was all about celebrating ‘everyday heroes’- the Health Play Specialists who work in children’s and young people’s wards to provide play and recreational activities that assist patient development and to prepare them for procedures, treatment and surgery.

We kicked off the week at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital with our launch event. Patients and staff gathered in the foyer of the hospital to hear speeches from the RMCH Deputy Director of Nursing, Michele Milner; Susan Fairclough, Therapeutic and Specialised Play Service Manager, and the Chair of the National Association of Health Play Specialists Penelope Hart-Spencer on the importance of play in hospital, before children and families were treated to a magnificent superhero flash-mob!

For the first time ever, this year’s National Play in Hospital Week also included the Starlight Health Play Specialist of the Year Awards. The winners were nominated by health professionals from across the country and Cathy Gilman, Starlight’s CEO presented the well-deserving winner Frenchesca James, Youth Support Co-Ordinator at University College London Hospital with her award during the launch on Monday. You can find out more about the award, including the winner and runners up here.

To win Starlight’s Health Play Specialist of the Year is absolutely amazing! This job is actually my dream job! It’s an honour to win this year! Thank you so much

And the fun didn’t stop there! From bakes sales to superheroes, from creating giant art pieces to musicals concerts, we saw so many examples of play in action. Thanks to all the hospitals who took part and shared your activity with us, we cannot wait to celebrate with you all again next year!