While the NHS funds a core play team in the Leeds Children’s Hospital oncology ward, Candlelighters are funding £186,000 over three years to cover extra play leaders. Your Christmas fundraising will help us cover the cost of Adele and her colleagues so families on the ward at Christmas receive the extra support we want to give them.

What does your role entail?

I’m part of the play team who work on the children’s oncology ward, where there are 16 beds, and in the day clinic for out-patients. As part of our work, we set up the playrooms and put a variety of different activities out each day. Additionally, as a lot of the children will have a range of procedures in a short time, we talk to them about how things are going to feel and what’s going to happen during a scan. To help distract them during these procedures, we will actually go along to the scans to play with them.

How do you feel this helps the families?

Through all of these things, the play team’s work helps the families massively- we really do help to make the unbearable bearable because we make life much happier and more normal for the families.

How do you feel Christmas impacts the families whose children are on treatment?

A lot of families find it really hard being in hospital over the holiday period as it’s such a special time of the year and everyone outside in the ‘normal’ world is celebrating and talking about the holidays.

How does your work help the families specifically over Christmas?

To help, I support parents and children and make their Christmas on the ward as normal as possible. Throughout December we will do lots of craft activities and even have a party upstairs in the day clinic. It’s great that, when speaking to their friends, the children on treatment can say that they’ve been getting involved in Christmas like they would at home.


Could you help fundraise to support the salary of a Play Leader, who will support families living in the hospital over Christmas? Get your fundraising pack here. We’d love to hear about your ideas so please do get in touch with the Fundraising Team on 0113 322 9283.