THE Rainbow Ward at St Bernard’s Hospital received a £14,000 donation from the Guardian Angel Foundation. The donation allowed for the refurbishment and development of the existing playroom, including the purchase of new toys, art and craft materials, two laptop computers, a music system, a soft play area and child-friendly furnishings.
A large proportion of the money donated by the Guardian Angel Foundation also went to fund the construction and equipment of a sensory room within the original play area.
The sensory room provides a relaxing space that helps to reduce agitation and anxiety, feelings often experienced by hospitalised, sick children. An interactive aroma panel activates smells, colours, sounds and breezes for aromatic, visual, audible and tactile stimulation while the bubble tube and LED projector wheel lighting is soothing and relaxing.
The sizable donation has made it possible to include an interactive colour match panel which can transform the room from a calming and soothing place, to an exciting and engaging interactive space used to engage the child, stimulating reactions and encouraging communication.
Sensory areas are especially useful for children with sensory processing disorders such as autism, cerebral palsy or brain injury. These children often suffer agitation and frustration from a lack of choice and control. Sensory rooms aim to give children choice and control by allowing them to explore and interact with their environment.
The purchase of a wireless controller will allow the children with fine or gross motor skill difficulties, visual impairment and limited mobility to still be able to control and interact with the colour match panel, aroma panel and bubble tube.
Staff at the Rainbow Ward would like to thank the Guardian Angel Foundation for its substantial donation, the second in 18 months, helping them improve the experience of hospitalised children in Gibraltar. Everyone at the Rainbow Ward is also delighted that Naomi Duarte, Young Artist of the Year 2016, volunteered to paint child friendly scenes in the main play area.