Above: Greg Johnston of Team Evie (R) with Bobby’s Explorer Bags and members of Newcastle Hospitals Staff
The charity Team Evie have teamed up with Newcastle Hospitals Charity’s ‘Sensational Thinking Project’ to develop a new way of supporting children who spend a long time in Newcastle’s Great North Children’s Hospital, by providing ‘Bobby’s Little Explorer Kits’.
Team Evie was set up by Greg and Jill Johnston following the death of their first daughter, Evie, who died aged 6 months in September 2015. Evie suffered from multiple and serious cardiac, respiratory, and digestive problems and spent much of her life in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Great North Children’s Hospital.
Research has shown that sensory development is much more difficult for children who spend extended amounts of time in hospital and by working together Team Evie and the Sensational Thinking Project have created ‘Bobby’s Little Explorer Kits’ to address this issue.
Now, children who spend extended amounts of time in hospital at the Great North Children’s Hospital will be given one of the kits, containing lots of resources to use in activities to aid sensory development. Also included is a booklet outlining how each item can be used by parents to engage with their child in the different activities.
The Occupational Therapy team at the Great North Children’s Hospital, who lead on the Sensational Thinking Project, will also run ‘Bobby’s Little Explorers Groups’ on the wards to work with their young patients and educate parents on how they can use the resources in the bag to help their child at home.
Greg Johnston, Team Evie Chief Executive said, “Evie spent most of the 6 months she was with us in hospital, and we could see during that time how important it was to help her with her sensory development. To provide something to help children and their parents actively work on their coordination and environmental awareness is something we are really proud of – we know it will make a huge difference to the development of so many children.”
“Providing these packs for families was something we were really keen to do as soon as we started discussing the Sensational Thinking Project. We are so grateful to all our supporters who help us to continue to raise funds so we can commit to such projects, which we know will help so many sick children and their families.”
Newcastle Hospitals Charity is the official charity for Newcastle Hospitals and provided the initial funding for the Sensational Thinking Project.
Teri Bayliss, Charity Director at Newcastle Hospitals Charity said: “We are always proud to collaborate with other local charities and it has been wonderful to see the Sensational Thinking Project grow with support from Team Evie and their Little Explorer Kits. We are sure that lots of families will feel the benefit of this extra provision during their time at the Great North Children’s Hospital.”
We are always proud to collaborate with other local charities and it has been wonderful to see the Sensational Thinking Project grow with support from Team Evie and their Little Explorer Kits. We are sure that lots of families will feel the benefit of this extra provision during their time at the Great North Children’s Hospital.Teri Bayliss Charity Director,, Newcastle Hospitals Charity