Croydon Health Services Charitable Fund

© bob walker – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Improving holistic care through play

Being able to play with their peers is essential to children’s wellbeing – physical, social and emotional. When children are ill in hospital, particularly for extended periods of time, having somewhere safe to play is extremely important. Not only do they need the chance to have fun and socialise, but play reduces anxiety and fear.

The Rainbow Children’s Unit at Croydon University Hospital, which opened in May 2022, includes amazing facilities for oncology and critical care. But it was missing dedicated space for children to play. Croydon Health Services Charitable Fund
set up an appeal to raise money for new playgrounds and therapeutic spaces, including separate toddler and junior areas.

  • Croydon supports London’s youngest population, with over 120,000 young people aged under 15 living in the borough.
  • More than 52,000 young people are cared for at Croydon University Hospital every year.
  • The Rainbow Children’s Unit cares for up to 40 children and young people every day, 365 days a year, so their play facilities could reach up to 14,600 patients every year. 

Space to relax

The total project costs £150,000. The Charitable Fund raised £109,000 and Kusuma Trust awarded a grant for the remaining amount, ensuring that the project could be completed.

The Rainbow Children’s Unit now has two unique outdoor play areas. They include climbing frames, space for teenagers to relax, mobility aids for children who need them, books for storytelling, games for distraction, and plants and flowers to bring the spaces to life.

“Croydon is home to more young people than any other area in London. It is vital that our most vulnerable patients have the best possible environment to help support their recovery. Play and therapeutic facilities are key components of this environment. Having the best possible access to play will support the overall wellbeing of our young patients.”

Dr Edward Holloway, Consultant Pediatrician and Clinical Lead for the Rainbow Children’s Unit project

More Success Stories