Great Ormond Street Hospital launches first ever Chanukah appeal

Great Ormond Street Hospital launches first ever Chanukah appeal

Jewish parents of a young patient at the world-famous children’s hospital, have urged the community to get behind the GOSH Eight Night Challenge

Kieran with the hospital’s medical staff
Kieran with the hospital’s medical staff

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has launched its first Chanukah appeal to raise money for a play team that helps take poorly children’s minds off their illnesses.

Jewish supporters of the world-famous children’s hospital are being asked to help out this Chanukah by organising something – whether it is menorah decorating, hosting Chanukah-themed karaoke nights or taking part in an eight-mile cycle.

Money raised from the GOSH Eight Night Challenge will help pay for the play team, whose work was praised this week by David and Louise Sorkin, a Jewish couple from Bushey whose son Kieran was a patient.

“Within the hospital, there’s an activity centre with everything a child could need to play, from arts and crafts to gaming, you name it,” said David, speaking about his recent experience at GOSH.

“When Kieran was admitted, there was a time where we weren’t allowed to leave as he had a negative reaction to anaesthetic.

Kieran and his family

“One member of the play team spent hours with him, just building something with him, and keeping him distracted from the pain medication button and the drip attached to his arm.” He added: “It was a big relief to us as parents to know they were there.

It gave us valuable time to take stock of what Kieran had been through.

“GOSH is a reassuring team where we’ll get the best care from people who know what we need, even if we don’t. It’s not just about the patients, but the family as well.”

The play team uses techniques such as role play and drawing to help children understand their illness or treatment, and what will happen to them in hospital, which can often involve the ill child’s young siblings.

The team can also use techniques to redirect a child’s attention during clinical or surgical procedures that may be uncomfortable, or offer therapeutic support to help a child relax or overcome things they find upsetting, such as needles.

“The GOSH play team interacts with thousands of children every year,” said Laura Savory, head of community fundraising at GOSH. “Every penny raised through this Chanukah appeal will support their vital work. We really hope people get involved.”


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