Chloe's Playroom

Leopard Ward (Respiratory), GOSH
Officially opened January 2018

Fully funded at £235,000

Chloe’s Playroom is the first major project funded by The Chloe Mansfield Fund. It is located in the new Respiratory Ward at GOSH (Leopard), and was officially opened by the Duchess of Cambridge in January 2018.

Very soon after Chloe’s death, we embraced the idea of raising funds for a new playroom in the Respiratory Ward at GOSH. At the time, it seemed like a herculean task. To have achieved this major milestone for Chloe’s legacy and for GOSH is something which we are incredibly proud of, and humbled by.

We chose to fund the playroom in the new Respiratory Ward because we have witnessed, firsthand, the importance of play in helping to improve the quality of life and happiness for sick children, many of whom spend weeks or months in hospital in any one visit. Learning through play is not only an important distraction for these children, it is also fundamental for their future development.

Chloe was too sick to visit the former playroom in Badger Ward (the old Respiratory Ward), but as a family we valued it immensely, and her older sister, Sophie, spent many an hour in there, every weekend, whilst visiting her baby sister. Sadly, it was a limiting space, lacking in much. We wanted to build something much better for the children of the new Respiratory Ward.

The new playroom has designated zones for babies, young children and teenagers. It is fully equipped with state-of the-art equipment, including a sensory area for babies, a TV, a projector and some games consoles. It is filled with carefully selected traditional games, arts and crafts materials, role-play and ride-on toys, plus much more. Much of the equipment is mobile, which allows the children to continue to benefit from the playroom when they are confined to their cubicles for infection control, as is often the case with respiratory illnesses. Play specialists also use the room to work with the children. If children are well enough, they may choose to dine together in this space. Fundamentally, the playroom is a space which allows these sick children to learn and develop. We also hope it will become a place where the children experience happiness and freedom, and where they can make friends.

Chloe’s Playroom first opened its doors to patients and families of GOSH on 22 November 2017 – coincidentally, the day of Chloe’s anniversary. And so, by pure luck, Chloe’s sister and brothers were the first children to play in Chloe’s Playroom. A special moment indeed.

The feedback which we have since received from staff and patients about the playroom has reminded us why we continue our work for Chloe’s Fund. It is a space which simply did not exist for the children previously. The room is situated by the entrance of Leopard Ward, which makes it incredibly accessible and sociable. We are told it is used continuously. The children are thrilled with their new space, as are the staff. We are thoroughly delighted.