Rockinghorse Children’s Charity launch campaign to provide a brand-new Wellbeing Service at The Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital

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Rockinghorse Children’s Charity is fundraising to create a brand new Wellbeing Service to support thousands of children and families who access support through the Royal Alex.

This dedicated service, developed with the help of an expert steering group, will expand on many of the wellbeing projects that the charity has funded over the last few years, such as sea swimming courses, art therapy, music therapy and woodland wellbeing days.

But the crucial difference is that it will bring them all in-house and be able to offer them to a much wider group of children across more paediatric departments within the hospital. Meaning that these impactful services will support thousands more children and families.

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Wellbeing has an incredibly important part to play within the healthcare sector and actively impacts on the health outcomes of children and young people. If children feel brave enough to go to the appointment they are so frightened to go to, it means that fewer appointments are missed or delayed, and children and families have a less anxiety-provoking waiting time to undergo the treatment they so desperately need.

Bodhi in HospitalBodhi in Hospital
Bodhi in Hospital

Or for older children, feeling they have a place to talk about what’s going on for them, somewhere where they don’t feel like the different one, or the ill one, but just a normal kid dealing with a health condition they don’t want and never asked for.

Wellbeing projects within the children's hospital contribute to the holistic care of paediatric patients by addressing emotional, psychological, and social needs. By enhancing the overall quality of life for children and their families, these projects indirectly support medical treatments, improve resilience, and contribute to positive health outcomes.

Dr Oli Rahman, Consultant Paediatrician and Chair of Trustees at Rockinghorse, explained why supporting wellbeing is such an important part of treatment. He said, “Imagine being a paediatric patient, especially if you have a long-term illness like Cystic Fibrosis, diabetes or asthma, it’s really daunting and can leave long lasting emotional scars. This is where the wellbeing projects step in; offering a glimmer of hope and comfort in the midst of adversity.”

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“These projects will provide a much-needed distraction from the challenges of the medical treatment. They offer joy, laughter and creativity, and children can momentarily forget about their pain and fears.

Dr Oli RahmanDr Oli Rahman
Dr Oli Rahman

“They also help children to engage with their treatment, comply with their medication, improve their mental health, and support their overall holistic care.”

“This empowerment is invaluable, and it boosts their resilience in difficult times.”

Far from being a nice addition to their treatment, these additional services provide crucial support at the darkest of times.

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Hannah Peckham’s son Bodhi is five years old. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with Leukemia and since then he has been receiving treatment at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.

Hannah and BodhiHannah and Bodhi
Hannah and Bodhi

During that time, Bodhi and Hannah have had first-hand experience of the impact that our wellbeing services can have on children and families spending time in hospital.

Spending weeks at a time on the wards, it can be really difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it’s boring. But having toys to play with, activities to enjoy, or things to take their minds off their situation, make all the difference.

It means that they are able to cope with such an enormously difficult situation, be able to take their minds off the fear and pain, and just feel like a normal family.

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Hannah said, “You can't take the hand of a child frightened to attend an appointment or give back what they have missed out on. You can't take away the grief and loss of all that our little fighters and their families have had to go through.You can help to put a smile on a child's face even when they face the unknown which in turn helps them and the parent feel held and supported.” 

The Royal Alexandra Children's HospitalThe Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital
The Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital

Donna Holland, CEO of Rockinghorse added, “We are so excited to be launching this ground-breaking new project. Wellbeing has a vital role to play in the care of so many children spending time in hospital.

“It helps children learn about, understand and manage incredibly difficult and complex conditions. Having children who are better able to manage their treatment also saves waiting and treatment times, meaning NHS staff can treat more children, more quickly and more effectively.

“It supports families to get through the biggest challenges of their lives. It saves the NHS time and money. And it saves lives.”

To find out more or donate to this new campaign visit the Rockinghorse website at

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