Children who are anxious about a visit to the outpatients clinic at Hinchingbrooke Hospital now have a special calm room in which to wait for their appointment, thanks to the Huntingdonshire childrens’ charity, Dreamdrops.
The new room, which is located in the childrens' outpatients waiting area, was unveiled on September 26 by Janet Woodward of commercial printing firm, Just Digital. Funding for the structural alterations was supplied by donations from the landlords and customers at the King of the Belgians Pub, in Hartford. Employees at Just Digital have been fundraising to purchase the equipment for the calm room, which has been specially designed to distract and relax young patients.
The unveiling event also coincided with the 10th anniversary of the sensory garden at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which was also brought to life by Dreamdrops. To mark the milestone, the mayor of Huntingdon, Cllr Steve McAdam, unveiled a new plaque in the garden area. The garden is made up of flower beds, a water feature and a fun maze, which is wide enough for hospital beds and wheelchairs to navigate, and originally cost £30,000 to create.
Anne-Marie Hamilton, on behalf of Dreamdrops, said: "It is wonderful that we have been able to provide the calm room, which was the brainchild of Holly Ward manager, Sandie White and matron, Sarah Hughes. For some children, the hustle and bustle of a busy outpatients waiting area is too much and therefore this room will help them feel comforted as they wait for their turn to see a doctor.
"It is just as wonderful to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the sensory garden which, thanks to some very dedicated Dreamdrops volunteers, is well cared for all year round. The garden is a real oasis of calm which is designed to bring joy to young patients, their families and staff alike. We were very fortunate to be supported by the Rotary Club of St Neots and St Mary's in creating the garden, and some of their members joined us for the anniversary celebrations too."
Rob Hughes, chairman of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke Hospital, added: "Dreamdrops' support for children's services in our hospital is fantastic and we are extremely grateful for the way Anne-Marie and her army of supporters are dedicated to improving the experience of our young patients and their families."