Project information

Space for Play Appeal

We want to transform and equip an outdoor play area for almost 4,000 babies and children visiting the Children’s Ward at Great Western Hospital every year. We want to install exciting and stimulating play equipment so that children in our care can enjoy playing just like any other child.

March 2017 - June 2017

Charity information: Brighter Futures (Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund)

Brighter Futures (Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund) logo
  • Need


    For many children, a stay at hospital - away from the comforts of home - can be a frightening and bewildering experience. Playing and spending time as a family can help but there are limited facilities available for our children to do this.

    Children need access to play equipment and outdoor space to thrive and develop. The outside play space adjoining the children's unit is large but poorly equipped, and offers very little to inspire enquiring and developing minds. (Please see photo)


    We have devised plans to create an exciting outdoors play area which is:
    • Inclusive of all needs and suitable for all inpatients and day attenders.
    • Includes opportunities for social interaction, physical activity, intellectual stimulation, creative achievement and emotional stability.
    • A place where families can relax, spend time together, have fun and retain a sense of normality.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To enable children to play outside and have access to play equipment.


    » To install an exciting play area in the courtyard adjoining the Children's Unit at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

    By creating an exciting new play area that children and their families will want to spend time in.

    Aim 2

    To help a hospital stay more like family time.


    » To create an area where families can relax and spend together.

    By incorporating areas - for example seating areas - which make it easy for families to play and relax together.

  • Impact


    We will collect testimonials from families that we help. Particularly, from families whose children have long term conditions.
    We hope that it will enable siblings to play together and to help families to have more opportunities to create memories together.
    We hope children will be more active and spend more time playing outside. It will be difficult to measure all the long term measures as some children will be being helped by a variety of different organisations.


    The play area is on the second floor of the hospital so the site is challenging to install play equipment on. We put the project out to tender and invited suppliers onto the site. The chosen supplier is going to use an engineering solution they designed to fit play equipment onto a cruise ship.
    A risk would be that the equipment isn't suitable for the needs of children staying in the Children's unit. This has been mitigated by involving the unit's play specialist in the decision making.


    We will send donors our monthly e-newsletter with project updates. We will also regularly update our website with information.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £82,366

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £17,471 Surfacing Resurfacing play area.
      £9,974 Preparation Preparation of site and installation of steel plates to fix play equipment onto.
      £43,489 Play Equipment Play Ship, Roundabout, Helicopter, Grotto, Submarine, Windsurfer, Whale Springer, Maze, Play Boards
      £11,432 Seating Areas Shelter, 3 picnic tables, bins

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Charity Funds £41,000 Guaranteed
    Fundraising Appeal Donations £7,157 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Play Area will be installed in an internal courtyard directly leading from the Children's Unit at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire. The unit takes admissions from a local catchment of over 340,000 people. The Children’s Unit has twenty-two beds for children and young people – from babies up the age of 18 years. 4,000 inpatient admissions happen during the year. (In addition, 560 attend the Children’s Ward as outpatients and 7,000 attend the Children's Outpatient Clinics).


    The children we care for have a wide range of acute and life limiting conditions; these include conditions such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes, cerebral palsy, learning difficulties or surgical interventions. Children come in just for the day, or repeatedly over several years whilst others are inpatients for much longer periods. 

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Because the children are in the care of the Great Western Hospital and the staff there are very experienced at working with children with complex needs.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Teresa Harding

    Divisional Director Women and Children's Dept, Great Western Hospital. Responsible for overseeing implementation.

    Jennifer Green

    Head of Fundraising

Play is an essential part of every child's life. It is vital for the enjoyment of childhood as well as for social, emotional, intellectual and physical development. When children are asked about what they think is important in their lives, playing and friends are usually at the top of the list.

Play England