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.
Working closely with The Children’s Hospital School at Great Ormond Street, former volunteer Alexander Bodin Saphir worked closely with patients aged five and 12 as part of a programme of weekly workshops to demystify the story telling process and 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 gave their time to the project by lending their iconic voices to the narration. Each film is approximately four minutes long and available on Great Ormond Street Hospital’s YouTube channel:
Volunteer Alexander Bodin Saphir, said: “Working alongside the School and bringing my expertise in storytelling has been a complete privilege. 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. I’d like to thank everyone who gave their time to pull this project together.”
Salma, mum of 10-year-old cystic fibrosis patient Ismaeel says: “Ismaeel was thrilled to be a part of the workshops. He’s feels incredibly proud to see his creativity brought to life in animation, and particularly by such household names. Ismaeel has been a patient at GOSH since birth. Being in and out of hospital can be really hard on him so being part of a project like this, gave him a real sense of achievement.”
The Children's Hospital School at Great Ormond Street Hospital & UCH is in place to ensure children don’t miss out on their education whilst facing long admissions in hospital. The school teaches inpatients of statutory school age with teaching carried out in a variety of locations including at the bedside and in the main schoolroom area.
Jayne Franklin, Head Teacher of the Children’s Hospital School at GOSH said: “We plan alongside schools from all over the country to ensure our pupils can continue to achieve and enjoy their learning at what can be such a challenging time in their lives. In addition to this our own bespoke school curriculum inspires pupils of all ages with a variety of exciting projects every term - just like this one. It’s been fantastic see the difference this project has made to many of our pupils and to see their stories brought to life in such a creative way.”
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Notes to Editors
About Alexander Bodin Saphir:
A.Bodin Saphir is an award winning filmmaker and critically acclaimed playwright. He produced and co-directed the documentary ‘Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?’ which won the Panorama Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Berlin Film Festival, 2016 and wrote the stage play ‘Rosenbaum’s Rescue’ which premiered in January 2019 to rave reviews. He was a volunteer at Great Ormond Street Hospital for six years where he led workshops aimed at demystifying the storytelling process in the hospital school and also worked one-on-one with children on the wards. He is currently developing a number of projects, including a TV drama for BBC1.
About Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
Great Ormond Street Hospital is one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals with the broadest range of dedicated, children’s healthcare specialists under one roof in the UK. The hospital’s pioneering research and treatment gives hope to children from across the UK with the rarest, most complex and often life-threatening conditions. Our patients and families are central to everything we do – from the moment they come through the door and for as long as they need us
For media enquiries, please contact:
Jess Owen, Great Ormond Street Hospital
Tel: 0203 841 3043