Spotlight on… Miriam Kearley
Play Specialists have a very important role at Evelina London. They lead play activities which help children understand what will happen to them during their stay in hospital, and work with them to ease any fears or anxiety they may have around their treatment. They also help encourage friendships between the children staying in the hospital, as well as supporting families and siblings.
Playing is a therapeutic tool to help children understand their treatment or illness, and really makes a positive difference to a child’s stay at the Evelina London.
Miriam tells us what it’s like to work at Evelina London, particularly during the exciting Christmas period.
What is the name of your role?
I am a Senior Play Specialist.
Which part of Evelina London Children’s Hospital do you work in?
I work on Arctic floor, which is the department where children’s imaging is based.
What does a typical day look like for you?
This varies from day to day. I could be working with a referred patient who is anxious about having a body scan, or supporting young patients through their first ever cardiac scan. With specialised preparation and support, patients feel more in control and are more likely to successfully complete their treatment.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love seeing young patients make progress and supporting them to overcome their fears.
Which part of your job is most challenging?
Some days it can be very busy - it can be a challenge to fit it all in!
What is your favourite thing about Evelina London?
I love that the child is at the centre of all we do.
What is your favourite part of Christmas?
I really enjoy that it is a chance to spend time with friends and family.
What is Christmas like at Evelina London?
Glitter seems to take over in the playrooms! Pantomimes, plays and performances take place every few days, and the staff turn into Santa’s elves to ensure that all the children in hospital get a very special Christmas.
What makes Christmas special at the hospital?
It’s so special that everyone comes together to give the children the best Christmas they can have.
How can supporters help children at Evelina London this Christmas?
Support is hugely appreciated all through the year, but particularly at Christmas. One fantastic way of supporting our young patients is by visiting the Christmas Smiles page and giving a virtual gift.