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I have been employed as the manager for play services at Alder Hey since January 2018. Previously, I was a Health Play Specialist at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. I qualified as a Nursery Nurse in 1989 & commenced my career in the NHS as a Nursery Nurse on a surgical ward. In 1999 I trained as a Health Play Specialist & continued to work within various departments & wards at RMCH.
I enjoyed my career as a Health Play Specialist & was keen to help & support children & young people with anxieties relating to hospital.
One of my main interests was supporting children on the autism spectrum & in 2014 I was part of a small team that won a Nursing Times award for developing a reasonable adjustment procedure for our patients with complex needs & diversities.
I am now committed to leading a fantastic team of Play Specialists & Play Assistants at Alder Hey.
I have been overwhelmed by the friendliness of staff, patients & parents at Alder Hey, I feel very welcomed & honoured to be a part of the Alder Hey family.
Before I started my career path at Alder Hey I spent ten years working with children and young people with ranging abilities both in the UK and overseas in an array of educational settings; involving a bilingual kindergarten, day nurseries, primary schools, children’s centres, a women’s refuge and a behavioural unit which supported children with challenging behaviour and school related phobias. In 2009 I gained an NVQ 3 in childcare. In 2013 I achieved a BA at Edge Hill University; in Early Childhood studies and in June 2017 I completed a foundation degree in Healthcare Play Specialism.
Currently, I am a Health Play Specialist on ward 4C. My role involves using play as a therapeutic tool to prepare children for frightening and sometimes uncomfortable medical procedures and pending treatment; this involves working closely with doctors, nurses and other members of the multidisciplinary team. Additionally, I distract children during medical procedures, implement fun and interactive therapeutic activities on the ward and build strong rapports with our patients and their families to promote a positive patient experience.
Whilst working in Alder Hey I have had the pleasure of supporting children and young people and being an integral part of their treatment journey; this has involved collaborative work with patients and has involved song writing, storytelling and using art to self-express and channel inner feelings.
In 2018 I came first in the NAHPS (National Association Health Play Specialists) ‘Play in hospital’ ‘every day superhero’s’ display competition.
Please click on the links below to see some of my work:
• Music video
• Alder Rap
• Super hero -Display video
I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of Alder Hey and look forward to enhancing my knowledge and skillset as I progress further into my role.
I started my career journey at Alder Hey in March 2016. Previous to this I worked in various positions such as a child minder, nanny, nursery nurse and a nursery manager of a private day nursery before perusing a career with the NHS.
In 1995 I gained my CCE in childcare and in 1998 I gained my NNEB diploma in nursery nursing as well as gaining many NVQ’s in childcare along the way.
Currently, I am a play leader on Renal Dialysis unit and ward 3C. My job role is to provide a warm and welcoming, safe, child friendly environment that meets all children’s needs and interests, as well as providing developmental and fun play activities that help and support children’s recovery. I also ensure I build good relationships with all the patients and their families to promote a positive hospital experience.
Since working for Alder Hey I have had the pleasure in working closely with the fundraising team to help raise funds that benefit our amazing hospital. I have worked in partnership with John Lennon airport and been part of the board to help promote Autism awareness at the airport. I was honoured to be asked to take part in the Alder Hey and Matalan superstars Campaign in 2018, where alongside 5 other colleagues and 4 children ambassador’s for the hospital, we modelled the new superstar’s pyjamas for the campaign. I was also part of the Alder Hey and Matalan choir that was featured in the Reach for the stars Christmas single and video which together raised £623,000.00 for the hospital. I thoroughly enjoy getting involved in projects outside my role and this campaign with Matalan was just another way I am able to support the hospital and more importantly the children within Alder Hey.
I feel very lucky to have built strong relationships with my colleagues and feel valued and very much part of the working team. I am privileged to be part of such a special team of people who dedicate their time to improving the children’s journey as well as providing an amazing network of support to families in some difficult times.
Alder Hey Children's Charity