Patients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital enjoyed a literary-themed party to celebrate the success of a reading scheme.
The party featured Charlie and Lola-themed drama activities and refreshments, ReadWell goodies and balloons for patients and a visit by poet Craig Bradley, who entertained everyone with silly songs and poems.
Sheffield Children’s Hospital has successfully joined the ReadWell initiative, developed in consultation with nursing and hospital education staff, which aims to bring the positive power of reading and storytelling to seriously ill children.
Owl Men, tame dragons and the Gruffalo are some of the characters that patients are getting to know better as part of the scheme, which sends books and storytellers into UK children’s hospitals.
The charity provides mobile bookcases stocked with a mixture of new titles and old favourites, and sends professional storyteller Amanda Smith into the hospital every half-term to tell myths, legends, fairy stories and folktales.
All books are new, which means copies can be enjoyed even by children at high risk of infection, and the distinctive orange bookcases are custom-made for easy movement in a hospital environment.
Gail James, a teacher at the hospital, said: “ReadWell has been an enormous success.
“Our children love the choice and feel of new books, some of which they can even take home and call their own.
“Sharing a book is a wonderful way to build confidence and relationships and books are a key tool in the learning experience.
“ReadWell has enabled us to widen the range and quality of books that we can offer and therefore it has enriched the learning experience of our young people in hospital.”