Play: vital for any child’s development. For children with life-limiting illnesses the opportunity to play is especially significant. Through play they can reach development goals, develop resilience and, crucially, have the chance to be a child and have fun.
As Karen Raney-Marr, one of our play specialists, notes: “When a child is diagnosed with a long-term, life -limiting illness – you can get so caught up in a medical world that you forget to just spend time together as a family, having fun in the moment and making memories.”
So to highlight the vital importance of the work done by our play specialists, we at Rennie Grove are celebrating their contributions as part of this year’s nationwide Hospice Care Week (10 – 14 October 2022).
Karen has been working as a play specialist as part of Rennie Grove’s Hospice at Home team since 2020. Drawing on her considerable resources she spends much of her week facilitating carefully tailored sessions in the homes of young patients and their families.
“I love being able to build rapport with the children and families I work with. I see huge benefits from play in the children who are referred to us.”
Rennie Grove’s support is designed for each individual children and their circumstances. That may mean supporting a child who is physically active to develop new ways to play or to support one with particular sensory needs. In addition, we provide play-centred support for siblings and children of current or former patients.
As Karen says: “This is a really important session as these children have a lot going on in their home life. Not only can we help develop their resilience through play, they can also benefit from mixing with other children in similar circumstances who really understand what they are going through.”