The Power of Play

The Power of Play

Sheffield Children’s has a fantastic team of play specialists across the Trust who support, entertain and help patients relax during their time with us as an inpatient or outpatient. As the team are already prepared to help children cope in stressful or new situations, their skills are invaluable during this time.

During the current situation, across Sheffield Children’s we have restricted our visitor numbers to one visitor per patient as an outpatient or inpatient – so the play team are on hand to provide support and entertainment for those children who are missing their siblings, friends and family too.

Play is so important for all children and young people and it comes in many forms – games and activities for all ages – from sticking and gluing to the PlayStation or reading together. It can help beat boredom or distract through a procedure as well as helping make new artistic discoveries, build confidence and a relax.

Play equipment is cleaned regularly by the play team but to further reduce the risk of any potential infection the team have made some changes which now means the equipment is given to and used by one patient only. The Children’s Hospital Charity have helped fund a treasure trove of craft activities for each individual patient to make sure no patient is missing out.

The Charity has sourced small trays and repurposed them so each child has their own collection to keep by their bedside. 

Alongside the trays the play team are visiting patients regularly to chat and play – thank you play team!



Artfelt – The Children’s Hospital Charity’s arts programme – is an ongoing project that creates colourful and engaging art in Sheffield Children's Hospital, by brightening the walls, making our children smile and engaging them in creative workshops - whether they are here long term or just for a few hours.

Our surroundings have a powerful effect on how we feel, and that’s especially important in a hospital, where the environment can influence wellbeing and comfort for our patients, visitors and staff. We always need funding to continue this invaluable work for our patients.

Play Areas New Wing - £50,000
Morag Myerscough, who designed the award-winning bedrooms in our new wing, is returning to enhance the Central Courtyard. Her scheme will provide chill out areas, seating, modern play equipment and a striking pagoda which can be used for performances in the summer or as a colourful shelter. Funded by the team at Method, the Courtyard will have additional plating which has been selected by patients to appeal to the senses and provide much needed access to nature.

Child Assessment Unit - £50,000 
As part of the expansion of the Emergency Department, the Child Assessment Unit (CAU) will be moving to a new home in October 2019. Working with artist Kristin Texeira, Artfelt will create a feeling of softness and warmth within the clinical space. Using abstract colour and texture to complement the sensitive nature of the work. The project also includes three digital elements to provide interaction and distraction in the waiting and examination rooms. 

Dentistry Suite and Recovery Room - £8,000
Artfelt will be extending its refurbishment work in Theatres and working with designers Thomas.Matthews on two recently decorated rooms in the department. The Dentistry Suite, which sees patients for dental work, and the Recovery Room, which is the last post-operative stop before discharge, will be transformed with shape and colour which complement Thomas.Matthews’ award nominated tangram project from 2016.

Ward 4 - £8,000
Ward 4 is a busy 20 bed medical ward which cares for children aged 0-4 years with a wide variety of acute and chronic medical conditions. Working with an illustrator, we will be creating artwork of a bright and friendly nature which is appropriate to some of our youngest patients.

Assisted Bathrooms - £8,000
We will be providing relaxing artwork for the bathrooms in our new wing, which already contain Arjo bathing systems funded by the charity in 2017. This is especially key for the burns bathroom which requires distraction for patients who are having their dressings soaked and removed before moving to the adjoining treatment room. 



Target: £6,000,000

You can help build a new Helipad. 

We need to get patients who urgently need critical care to our Emergency Department as soon as possible. It really is the difference between life and death.

Sheffield Children’s Hospital is the designated Major Trauma Centre for children in South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw providing a service for a population of over 375,000 children and young people.

Children and young people arrive at the Emergency Department either by self presentation, road ambulance or air ambulance. In 2018 15% of arrivals were by air ambulance that is around 1-2 per month. Currently air ambulances can only land in daytime hours, because there is inadequate lighting in the park. A helipad on the rooftop would allow patients to be brought outside of daylight hours, which may increase the number of children brought to Sheffield Children’s Hospital particularly in winter months where daylight operation hours for air ambulances are very restricted.

The current arrangement for HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services) in transporting patients to ED is to land in Weston Park opposite the hospital. This landing site presents certain challenges to the safe transport of the child to ED and is far from ideal and some HEMS operators refuse to land in the park as a result.

Landing at the Northern General and transferring patients by ambulance to our hospital is no longer an option. A helipad would mean patients can land anytime with flood lighting. When the weather sets in, the new helipad would have electric trace heating incorporated into the deck to ensure that ice and snow do not disrupt the continued use of the facility during periods of inclement weather.

Emergency Department

Emergency Department

Target: £4,500,000

Sheffield Children’s Hospital Emergency Department, which is also a Major Trauma Centre serving South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire, sees around 60,000 children come through its doors every year with every possible problem imaginable. As the population of Sheffield and the region has grown, so has the demand on our services. The department was originally built to see around 32,000 patients a year, and is now in desperate need to be expanded to meet the current needs of the children that come to us with illnesses and injuries. We want all the children and families who attend our department to not just receive the best care but also to have the best experience.

Coming to hospital can often be stressful for all, the patient and their family. Not having a seat to sit in our Emergency Department or having to arrive in Weston Park by helicopter, cross a busy road with everyone watching is something we can improve on. 

You can help ensure that what we build and deliver, meets the exact needs of children and their families.Your support will make a difference not just to the care that children receive but the way that they receive it. We want children who come to us for treatment to have the best possible experience, delivered to them by a team who has everything that they could possibly need to give children and their families what they need in the way that works best.

Ward 6 formerly M3

Ward 6 formerly M3

Target: £2,750,000

Ward 6 (formerly M3) is where we care for children and teenagers with cancer and blood disorders; it is the Principal Treatment Centre for children with cancer and leukaemia from babies through to 19 year olds within South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Derbyshire. Patients travel from as far south as Northampton for treatment at our special hospital.

The ward has 14-beds unit, six of which are isolation cubicles for children who need to be isolated to prevent infections, for example bone marrow transplant patients. There are also four day beds so some children can receive day case treatment on the ward.

The facilities are currently tired and cramped, with little natural light or space for a parent to sleep next to their child. Bathing facilities are not available on the ward and whilst the care the patients receive is world-class, the facilities they receive it in could be better. 

We don’t want our children to feel isolated when they are in an isolation room - we want to build them a bedroom which they can make their own with space to play in and be with their family. Many of the bedrooms currently don’t have a view and when you are in isolation, this can have an effect on your well-being. The new ward will maximise the view of Weston Park, making patients feel connected to the outside whilst they are getting better as well as create privacy and make isolation a place of sanctuary and calm.

You can help make it better. 

COVID-19 Appeal

COVID-19 Appeal

Funds raised will be used to help the hospital fight Covid-19 and to help ensure that the hospital has the best equipment and environment needed to continue to deliver world class paediatric care at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Director of nursing at Sheffield Children’s, Sally Shearer talks through what preparations the Trust are doing for COVID-19. Whilst the illness primarily affects adults’ the hospital is making vital preparations to support children, as they can also get this disease. Throughout the crisis Sheffield Children’s will also be supporting colleagues and other Trusts across the NHS with the surging demand for adult services.

Staff at Sheffield Children’s are going above and beyond to care and protect patients and their families as well as their colleagues. We need to support Sheffield Children’s now more than ever in whatever way we can which is why we launched our COVID-19 Appeal. The situation will develop over the coming weeks and here at the charity we want to ensure that the hospital has what it needs when it needs it.

Funds raised will be used to help the hospital during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.



We fund pioneering research to make it better

As part of The Children’s Hospital Charity’s mission to make it better, we fund up to £250,000 of vital research every year which the NHS does not cover – helping to provide the very best healthcare for children.

The successful applications for 2020/21 included:

  1. Dr Charlotte Elder: A study to investigate salivary cortisone as an Adrenal Insufficiency Test in Children.
  2. Nicholas Nicolaou: A study to determine whether the way paracetamol is used in overweight and obese children is safe.
  3. Prof Amaka C Offiah: The development of an EiEctronic Tool for Clinicians, Teachers and Researchers in Child Abuse.
  4. Debbie Rowley: The monitoring of children's physical activity following a diagnosis of childhood cancer.
  5. Dr Shishu Sharma: Research to examine whether robot-controlled, magnet-assisted capsule endoscopy is effective in children and cost effective.
  6. Amamika Tandon: A study to find out whether SightPlus, an advanced head-mounted digital low vision aid, can improve the vision and quality of life of children with a visual impairment.
  7. Dr Kelechi Ugonna: Developing a potential new drug to target Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), reducing the severity of infections and the need for antibiotics.

The Children's Hospital Charity has also partnered with Sheffield Hallam University's Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) with a commitment to invest £50,000 into a Feasibility and Proof of Concept Fund.

With the help of charitable donations we were able to open a brand new Clinical Research Facility – the first of its kind in the UK. The facility is key to bringing together doctors, nurses, students and other health professionals together to develop pioneering work in a range of areas such as bone disease, genetics and cancer.

Patient entertainment systems

Patient entertainment systems

On surveying parents and patients, 73% wanted a Bedhead TV with the option to use a mobile device with WiFi.

The cost of each system is around £3,000 and the charity provided funding for 72 units in the new wing of the hospital. The project is now extended to fund systems in the remaining wards, which is 75 units, giving each child the ability to choose their own entertainment during their stay in our hospital.

So far we have raised enough to fund 28 units, the cost including the infrastructure is £3,000 per unit.



Every year we fund life-saving equipment to keep Sheffield Children's Hospital at the forefront of paediatric care. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we can keep our hospital’s specialist services special, by providing equipment that goes over and above the NHS provision. Over the years, The Children’s Hospital Charity has donated millions of pounds worth of ground-breaking medical kit and machinery to ensure every child we treat receives the best possible care. But we will never stop wanting better for our children, so we will never stop needing your help.