ACT celebrates National Day for Play – here’s how you can help too


Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) is celebrating this year’s National Day for Play today (Wednesday August 1) and is asking for donations to help support vital work undertaken by nursery nurses at the hospital.

Play therapists help younger patients understand their treatments using special toys. Above, Play Specialist, Kat Collen, is using a Lego MRI model to explain the daunting process of an MRI scan to help reduce a young patient’s anxiety

Play has a therapeutic role in a healthcare setting allowing children to feel comfortable in hospital surroundings. For children attending clinics and for day case procedures, play helps to reduce stress, offers distraction and provides fun and laughter in the hospital environment.

The Health Play Team at Addenbrooke’s works with a range of young patients and their siblings, aged between 0 and 16 years. Stephanie Fairbain, Therapeutic Play Manager at Addenbrooke’s has highlighted the importance of play to children at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospital, “One of the best things one of my managers ever said to me is that when she arrived on her ward all she could hear was laughter from the play room. Hospital isn’t all about scary stuff and pain, we have lots of fun too.”

“The team of healthcare play workers at Addenbrooke’s work with children and their families to help them to cope with their hospital experiences and reduce the risk of emotional trauma that can result from a hospital admission and medical interventions.”  

“The play team also provide respite for parents to take a break, which is much needed when they are in with their child 24/7 for regular admissions and sometimes up to a few months in hospital.”

Donations made to ACT have already helped to provide a play service for longer hours. In addition, ACT has funded four magic carpets and four sensory units to help mobilise children after surgery or illness as well as specialist LEGO MRI and CT scan models, and two large puppets to help prepare children for their procedures.

While charitable donations are already enabling amazing things for children at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie, we need to do more. As part of ACT's children’s campaign, the team needs to raise £84,000 to fund an additional Nursery Nurse to help ensure that all children who need it have access to therapeutic play, interactive digital wall bubbles to help distract children in consultations, and further mobile sensory units to help calm children in the hospital setting. To donate or find out more about the children’s fundraising campaign, please see the website at or call 01223 217757.

About National Day for Play


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)