Last week, a group of our staff at Wild Place Project visited the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children's Bluebell and Sunflower wards, to get crafty and decorate wooden tree decorations with some of the children.
The children, who are recovering from neurological conditions, also received an array of Christmas books from our gift shop to read with their parents and hospital staff in the lead-up to the big day.
Jo Jackson, whose child is recovering on one of the wards, said: “Just wanted to say a massive thank you for visiting my son at the Bristol children’s hospital. He really enjoyed making Christmas decorations from the natural objects.
“Thank you too for the Christmas book you gave him. We are from Plymouth, but the last time we visited the hospital we came along to Wild Place Project and we thought it was amazing. Getting up close to bears was a real treat. Keep up the great work.”
The hospital recently received funding to take children recovering from operations and intensive care to the 70-acre animal attraction, to see the animals, take part in forest school and get out in the fresh air. The partnership will bring children that have undergone a stressful time closer to nature to help aid their recoveries.
The decorations, which were made of natural materials such as wood and pine cones, will be hung on our Christmas tree near the entrance to Wild Place Project.
Samantha Topham, learning assistant, visited the hospital with graphic designer Sarah Clark and marketing assistant Emma Payne.
The visit was part of our initiative to work with people throughout the community to get them close to and benefit from nature.
Samantha said: “It was an absolute pleasure to visit the children in the hospital. They are all very brave and it was clear they all really enjoyed doing something a little different from their normal routines.
“Giving back to our community is so important and we are really looking forward to welcoming the children from the hospital to Wild Place Project for some exciting forest school sessions.”
The children were aged from one to 12 and many were able to enjoy the decorating with their parents by their bedsides.
Julie Fisher, play service manager at the hospital, said: “We were all thrilled to welcome the ladies from Wild Place Project and see them engaging with the children in our care.
“The children love craft activities and are very excited to know that their artworks will be displayed on the Wild Place Project Christmas tree this year. We are really looking forward to spending some quality recovery time at Wild Place Project with the children in our care and show them the animals.”
Head to Wild Place Project this winter to see the children's decorations on our tree - and save money with our winter super saver tickets!