Distraction made easy at Addenbrooke’s thanks to kind-hearted fundraiser and local business


A colourful, interactive games screen to spark the imagination and distract children during hospital appointments has just been installed in Addenbrooke’s Paediatric Day Unit (PDU) thanks to the tireless efforts of local fundraiser, Jodie Rowlandson and help from construction business, Morgan Sindall.

The Paediatric Day Unit team, diagnoses and treats children with cancer and other serious conditions, aged from newborn to 16, in an outpatients setting. It can be a challenge to keep younger patients and their siblings occupied during consultations while parents speak to clinicians, but the interactive, wall-mounted ‘games bubble’ from manufacturer, SLKids has provided the perfect solution.

While their parents talk to doctors about more serious matters, children can try their hand at age-appropriate interactive apps such as dot-to-dot, spot the difference and colouring-in among other fun activities, which are all the more entertaining because they are accessed via a child-friendly touchscreen.

“I remember the endless waits and trying all sorts of different distraction techniques when my son, Max, was being treated at Addenbrooke’s for leukaemia 8 years ago,” says Jodie who has raised an incredible £120,000 for the hospital to date.

“It dawned on me that there must be lots of other restless and bored young patients like Max and so I decided to do something about it. I asked families what they thought was needed and they all said they wanted something to keep their children happy and distracted during the long waits such as when they’re waiting to have a general anaesthetic. At times like these they are hungry and desperate to be kept occupied.”

“We also noticed that children are really excited when they are able to play with the latest game or console – particularly slightly older children. This is when we looked at the interactive wall bubbles and thought they would be really different and engaging for these children. It’s funny that when coming into hospital the games they play and the high scores they achieve on them stand out in their minds, but we’d rather that than painful memories of medical procedures.”

Gemma Downham, Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust’s Director of Fundraising said: “Jodie is so passionate about making the hospital more comfortable for children and their families. We are so grateful to her for all her energy and hard work and to Morgan Sindall for making this a reality. We are extremely excited that ACT is proving instrumental in providing play at Addenbrooke’s. We are now looking to fundraise for a further four wall bubbles in PDU as part of our Children’s Appeal. It’s so important to inject a sense of fun, calm and normality into hospital visits.”

To find out more about raising £10,000 for a further four wall bubbles for Addenbrooke’s Children’s Appeal as well as more about Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, please call 01223 217757, email hello@act4addenbrookes.org.uk or visit www.act4addenbrookes.org.uk/giveforthemoment   

Image L-R : Megan Wisbey, ACT Hospital Engagement Lead; Fundraiser, Jodie Rowlandson; Nicola Love, Staff Nurse; Jo Neville, Senior Sister; Simon Riches, Morgan Sindall Senior Site Manager).


Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT) is the independent registered charity for Cambridge University Hospitals (including Addenbrooke's Hospital and the Rosie Hospital).

Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust (ACT)