Outdated play area to get a new lease of life

The play area at the Conquest Hospital’s Kipling children’s ward is being given a new lease of life after a mother raised concerns about outdated facilities with Amber Rudd MP.

Earlier this year Rye mum Karen Shier, having spent time at the Kipling ward over Christmas with her son, contacted Ms Rudd to ask if the facilities associated with the ward and the play room could be updated and cleaned properly.

Ms Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, met Ms Shier along with Bill Hamilton, chairman of the Friends of the Conquest Hospital, and matron Liz Vaughan at the Kipling ward.

Mr Hamilton said the Friends would help inject life into the outdated play area, which was originally a side ward, measuring around 30’x18’.

Improvements the Friends are funding, at a cost of around £2,500, include refreshing the room with a new coat of paint, adding a new vinyl floor and putting up new blinds at the windows. Further down the line they hope to make more substantial improvements.

Ms Shier also started a fundraising campaign which, to date, has topped around £2,500. She plans to add sofas, seating areas and a television.

Mr Hamilton said the joint effort between the Friends and Ms Shier to make the playroom a better place for sick children and their parents to be more comfortable is thanks to Ms Shier starting the ball rolling. He said: “Karen was instrumental in getting the project started by contacting Amber Rudd. The play area wasn’t a very nice place and there was nowhere for parents to sit.”

Ms Rudd said she was pleased that the improvements - which start next week - are underway, adding: “It was amazing that Mr Hamilton offered such a rapid response.”

Karen said: “I am delighted with the response from Amber Rudd and Bill Hamilton to update the playroom. This will be of huge benefit to the children and families.”