Blades open Bluebell Wood’s newly refurbished messy play room

Footballers from Sheffield United today helped spread some Christmas cheer, as they opened a newly refurbished messy play room at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in time for Christmas.

The room, which has more than doubled its original size, will allow for more fun activities to take place at once as it provides more room for wheelchairs and medical equipment.

Activities that take place in the messy play room include sensory play with lots of paint and foam, tacpac, which is a form of communication through touch and music, and makaton, a language programme using signs and symbols.

Diane Price, Activity Co-ordinator at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice said: “We are absolutely thrilled and delighted with our fabulous new room and we’re so thankful that Sheffield United have been able to open it – it’s made it extra special.

“The new room will provide hours of fun for our children and families using the hospice. Helping to make memories like this and surrounding people with love and laughter is at the very heart of what we do.”

This all would not have been possible without the £15,000 grant from Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group. The funds have been split between the messy play room and Primrose Suite, which will be made to be a self-contained apartment. The suites are purpose built and provide a space for families to stay after their child has passed away, giving them the space and time to say their special goodbyes.

Chris Edwards, Chief Officer at NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are all extremely pleased to support the great work of the hospice. The development of this new messy play room will further enhance the excellent care and support provided to children and families from across the area.”

After the grand opening, players from the club, including team captain Chris Basham, Bob Harris, Che Adams and John Brayford, met children and young adults, and their families, at the hospice. They then gave out presents and also had a tour of the facilities at Bluebell Wood, including the cinema room, sensory room, lounge area and soft play area.

Dave McCarthy, Operations Director at Sheffield United, said: “Sheffield United are delighted to be given the opportunity to officially open the messy play room at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice during the Christmas visit for the players this year.

“Everyone at the Blades knows what a fantastic place Bluebell Wood is, this year many of our players who hadn’t visited before were able to come to see the superb facilities and meet some of the wonderful patients and their families.”

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice supports more than 250 children and young adults with life shortening conditions and their families a year, both in the hospice and in family homes. More than 90% of our funds come from the community and corporate fundraising activities.

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