We're All In This Together: An update from our Play team!
22 May 2020, 12:38 p.m.
After recently sharing the Play team's incredible Makaton-rendition of High School Musical's "We're all in this Together," we caught up with Play Worker Ellie on the inspiration behind the video.
A Passion for Play
“I believe that every child deserves play and fun at any opportunity, no matter their situation or environment," begins Ellie. "The children I work with often require long-term ventilation, meaning that for six months to two years (on average) they have support to breathe. Play is essential for our patients, because without other opportunities like nursery or school, play gives them stimulation and support to develop.
"Also, hospital admissions can be scary for patients, and the Play team are here to make the transition into hospital and the stay, no matter how long it is, as fun and enjoyable as possible."
Fun with Makaton
“I use Makaton with a lot of the long-term patients on my ward as their vocal cords are affected by their treatment / condition. Makaton has given these children an effective way of communicating when they cannot form sound or words. I decided to create a Makaton version of the High School Muscial hit “We’re All In This Together”, as it’s a fun and upbeat way of getting staff, patients and families everywhere to use Makaton in day-to-day life. The video is lighthearted and very catchy, the words have an amazing message of joy and unity, and maybe some children will even have a go at learning the signs!
"Filming the video brought the team closer together and highlights that we are still here, still having fun and spreading joy – despite everything that’s going on! The Play team have pulled together at this difficult time and I wanted to celebrate this and show that we’re still here for our patients and families. We’re still spreading fun by visiting patients, providing activities and engaging them in play."
“There has never been any doubt about the importance of play continuing during this time. My job feels just as important and valued during this pandemic as it ever has, if not more so! Of course, some things have changed to enable us to do this in a safe way. The playrooms are closed to patients, we’re wearing masks all the time which took some getting used to and we’ve got isolation packs, comprising of creative activities for children who are isolated due to coronavirus."
“This is a surreal time for everyone. No one is sure of what happens next or what the next week will bring. Although there’s a lot to worry about at the moment, I’d like to think that in years to come everyone will look back and remember the time they spent with their children when normally life would’ve got in the way. So my top tip is to have fun! Plan some fun activities, talk through and process the different emotions brought about by what is going on, it will help everyone come to terms with it in the best way possible. Also, check out GOSH Charity’s Power of Play Resources Hub for some ideas to do at home. Maybe even learn some Makaton! There’s lots of resources out there and it’s a great skill for children to learn!”