Bringing stories imagined by GOSH School pupils to screen

2 Jan 2020, 9:30 a.m.

Fantasy stories written by patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital have been brought to life in a series of animations by a team of professional animators, composers, song writers and celebrities.

It all started with a writer’s workshop…

Working closely with The Children’s Hospital School at GOSH, former volunteer Alexander Bodin Saphir worked with patients aged 5 and 12 as part of a programme of weekly story-telling workshops to provide children who have spent a lot of time in hospital with a creative outlet. In his role, Alexander also visited some of the hospital wards to provide one-to-one sessions with patients who are taught by the bedside.

A film maker and playwright by trade, over the course of a year Alexander drafted in a team of animators, composers and songwriters to turn four of the stories imagined by the children into film. Actors Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Julie Walters also gave their time to the project by lending their iconic voices to the narration!

“Many of the patients that walk through the doors of GOSH have some of the most complex or rare conditions. Life can feel very serious so to be able to allow them a sense of fun, magic and escapism is really important. Being in-and-out of hospital can really affect a child’s confidence, so we really wanted to build that back through storytelling. Hopefully seeing their stories brought to life through animation and narrated by such iconic voices that we all know from the big screen, will do just that,” says Alexander.

See the stories brought to life

Take a look at the charming animation shorts based on the stories of four GOSH pupils. Watch the video playlist above or follow these links:

The Meteor and the Moon

The King and the Master Builder

A Picnic in the Park

Skinny and Fluffy

“I’m really chuffed that it’s become an animation.”

Sharing what he learned from creating his story, patient Habiballah, author of ‘A Picnic in the Park’, says: “I learned that it’s hard to make a story, but when I was on the bus to school I would dream about the story and dreaming made it easier to tell it.

“I loved making this film and one day I want to give back and work at GOSH’s Radio Lollipop and visit all the children on the wards.”

Patient Ismaeel, author of 'The King and the Master builder', also shared: “I've been told by my teachers that I'm very imaginative, but I have had trouble communicating my ideas on paper. That's why this animation project is so important to me and why my parents are so very proud.

“The characters came from football. And then my imagination just ran wild from there and we ended up with this story. I'm really chuffed that it's become an animation.”

See the playlist of animation films

Surgery in the womb for spina bifida has stopped paralysis in dozens of babies

Dozens of babies with spina bifida have been spared paralysis and other life-limiting conditions after undergoing surgery in the womb in a cutting-edge procedure made available on the NHS.

Get Active: Cancer Sports Day 2021

On 3 July 2021 the GOSH Oncology team's cancer sports day is back, reuniting UCL and GOSH patients past and present with the wide spectrum of GOSH staff involved in their care, including doctors, nurses, physios and dietitians.

Common inflammatory bowel disease treatment is linked to reduced COVID-19 antibody response

New evidence indicates the commonly-prescribed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) drug infliximab blunts the immune system to COVID-19 infection, potentially increasing the risk of reinfection.

GOSH and Moorfields treat the UK’s youngest patient with sight-saving gene therapy

Three year old Leo and his family appear in BBC 2's DNA Family Secrets to share their journey for answers into his condition and his successful treatment with Voretigene Neparvovec