As today I head to Bristol Children’s Hospital for my monthly visit to entertain poorly children I thought i’d share some information about what I do and the great charity that make this happen.
Every month I perform up to seven shows in Hospitals in Bristol, Newport, Cardiff, Bridgend, and a few others, depending on where I am needed. The shows can either be complete 40 minute shows to a group of children in the play room or I go from bed to bed doing tricks or making balloon animals.
Children love magic and puppets so having a show to watch not only cheers them up but it takes their minds away from their illness for a while, it also relieves the boredom of a long hospital stay for the parents! If I am making balloons in out patients I just see the children before they called in, but when I perform in the Oncology wards or a burns unit the children can be there for months, or they have to keep coming back for regular visits, so these children I get to know quite well and they are always interested in what I am going to do next.
The charity that pays for entertainers in hospitals is called POD. All entertainers that they provide get paid, although we all do it at a very reduced fee, as they are all full time professionals and we have to attend various training sessions about infection control etc. Margret Munford MBE, who runs the charity organises about 200 shows per month in England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland but there are still hospitals that would like more shows or some that don’t get any. The charity is funded by various groups and individuals, some companies sponsor a
monthly show for their local hospital, shows cost £50 each. POD also receive money from Children In Need.
As an Children’s Entertainer I am used to seeing happy children and hearing them laugh so it is always a moving experience when after seeing a child a parent comes up to you and says that they haven’t heard their child laugh for weeks or months.
If you would like to help, please contact POD. http://www.podchildrenscharity.com as they say, every little helps.