Children Across the UK to Have a More Positive Experience in HospitalsMagic, joy and laughter will have been brought to over 4,000 children this year in hospitals around the country including Basingstoke thanks to POD children’s charity, making their stay a more positive experience.

POD aims to entertain children in hospital and encourage them to have fun while putting aside pain and worry for a brief time. Magicians, puppeteers, musicians and clowns visit wards to provide plenty of laughter so children, parents, siblings and staff can all enjoy the time together.

A total of 330 sessions were funded by a grant of £16,500 from leading health plan provider Simplyhealth and the company has today announced an additional donation of £10,800 to provide a further 216 sessions throughout 2016.

Margaret Munford from POD comments: “We’ve had great feedback from all of the hospitals to say that POD sessions made a huge difference to the children in their care and produced lots of smiles and laughter. It’s so important to encourage children to be children and escape from their day to day worries. It’s fantastic that Simplyhealth has enabled our POD people to help put smiles on so many children’s faces and will continue to do so for many more next year.”

Mark Hamson, chairman of Simplyhealth Charitable Committee, said: “It’s great to learn about how our donation has had a positive impact on the children, families and staff in hospitals during what can be an anxious and testing time. Making a difference isn’t just measured in the amount of money we have been able to donate; it’s the smaller, more personal things such as putting a smile on a child’s face or knowing that their stay in hospital was a happier experience thanks to a visit from POD. That’s why we’re pleased we can fund additional sessions to help even more children and families.”

POD sessions benefit everyone on the ward and children of all ages. Everybody receives a visit, even if they are too poorly to join a show.

Sophie Morson, Health Play Specialist at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital adds: “The children really appreciate the visits by the magician “Fred in the Shed”. He sees the patients individually at their bedside, and shows them magic tricks and makes balloon animals. He is brilliant because as a magician he can adapt his show to the patients age and individual needs, and has the teenagers laughing as much as the young children. Having an entertainer truly makes a huge difference to the patients; it brightens their day and gives them something fun to smile about. Our long term patients get particularly excited to see him as they’ve seen him before.

We appreciate Simplyhealth’s sponsorship and are very grateful for the fun and laughter the sessions provide.”

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