The Starlight Health Play Awards happen annually during Play in Hospital Week to celebrate outstanding play professionals across the country. It’s such a privilege to be a part of the process and see, first hand, what this recognition means to the winners and those nominated.
We opened the nominations to the public way back in June. Reading the wonderful words colleagues and patients had written about health play specialists quickly became the favourite part of my day. It was overwhelming to see how many people had changed patients’ lives through play and fought for play to be protected.
Judging day then came around and I knew it was going to be a difficult decision for the judges; the standard was so high. The judging panel consisted of Cathy Gilman (Starlight’s CEO), Laura Walsh (Starlight’s Head of Play), Kate Pye (Deputy Director of Children and Young People’s Nursing at NHS England) and Penelope Hart-Spencer (Chair of National Association of Health Play Specialists) and they really had their work cut out for them.