Weather curtails hospital play activities

Play activities and support services for children in Mullingar hospital have been severely hampered as a result of the recent freezing weather conditions.

Children in Hospital Ireland has expressed concern about the delivery of play and support services to hundreds of children in hospitals throughout the country, including the Midland Regional Hospitals in Mullingar and Tullamore, as its volunteers have reported great difficulty in travelling to hospitals.

It is hoped that the charity’s services will be resumed in the midland hospitals from Monday.

Volunteer Services Manager with Children in Hospital Ireland, Claire Connaughton, explains,“In Mullingar, and also the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, we haven’t been able to deliver our services since Christmas due to the adverse weather conditions. Our volunteers – many of whom are travelling from rural areas – reported great difficulties in travelling to the hospitals, with many unable to make the journey.

“In the interests of health and safety, we suspended our services. Dependent on the situation with the weather, we are hoping to resume our services in both hospitals from Monday (January 18 ).”

Children in Hospital Ireland’s trained and vetted PlayWell volunteers organise games and fun activities in children’s wards and units in hospitals throughout the country and provide more than 40,000 hours of play each year.

The PlayWell scheme operates four days a week in the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar. Eight local volunteers devote 20 hours a week to ensure children are provided with play and fun activities to help them cope with their illness during their stay in hospital. The activities are provided to the children weekday mornings, and provide parents with support during a difficult time.


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