Where does the money go?

Together we are making a BIG difference for little kids and their families.

Play and Music are powerful tools that;

1) Allow kids to explore their treatment and illness to better understand it

2) Allow kids to escape their treatment and illness and have fun

Child Life and Music therapist help young patients by: 

  • Normalising the hospital environment
  • Reducing anxiety and promoting self-esteem 
  • Providing education and support for specific medical procedures to the children and their families 

Since our inaugural year in 2016 Phil' raised over $272,000! This is thanks to the hard work of student volunteers and the generosity of the community! All funds go directly to Child Life and Music Therapy at the Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick. Click the button below to read in detail about where the money raised went and how it is making a big difference for sick kids and their families. 

2017 Impact Report2018 Impact Report

What is Child Life Therapy?

According to the Association of Child Life Therapist Australia

"Child Life Therapists are healthcare professionals specialising in child development, with a background in education and/or other fields of healthcare. Child Life Therapy involves evidence-based interventions, which aim to reduce the stress and anxiety that can be associated with hospitalisation by focusing on developmental, social and emotional wellbeing. Specifically, child life therapy services may include general ‘medical play’, which seeks to correct misconceptions and reduce anxiety around medical experiences. Specific play sessions focusing on procedures and useful coping skills have shown to reduce anticipatory anxiety, distress and positively impact future procedures."

What is Music Therapy?

According to the Australian Music Therapy Association

"Music therapy is a research-based practice and profession in which music is used to actively support people as they strive to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing. Music therapy is the intentional use of music by a university trained professional who is registered with the Australian Music Therapy Association Inc. Registered music therapists draw on an extensive body of research and are bound by a code of ethics that informs their practice. Music therapists incorporate a range of music making methods within and through a therapeutic relationship. They are employed in a variety of sectors including health, community, aged care, disability, early childhood, and private practice. Music therapy is different from music education and entertainment as it focuses on health, functioning and wellbeing."

Even a small donation can make a BIG difference

$10 BUBBLES 

Used by Child Life but also nursing and medical staff to distract and calm children all over the hospital. 

$20-$35 BABY TOYS 

High quality, durable toys for use in waiting room, playrooms and for little people in isolation. 

$65 BUZZY’S 

Buzzy is a small device which can be attached to a tourniquet with an ice pack – Buzzy vibrates – the cold from the icepack and the vibration from buzzy interrupt the pain path way and help to make injections, blood tests and cannulations less painful. 

$100-$250 SENSORY TOYS 

Specialised toys for children with special needs – allowing them to interact through the use of switches and through the use of high contrast textures, sounds and light . 

$150 PORTABLE DVD PLAYERS 

Used by children who are confined to bed or isolation room.

$150 DISTRACTION KITS

Kits of toys, puzzles and other items that can be used during painful and invasive procedures to distract children from the pain and anxiety they may be feeling.

$55,140 FOR A YEAR, $4,595 FOR A MONTH $1,061 FOR A WEEK THERAPISTS 

Help fund a part-time Music Therapist or a Child Life Therapist in the Emergency Department, the specially trained Music and Child Life Therapists provide positive Hospital experiences for sick and injured children. These specially trained therapists distract children from painful procedures, educate them on upcoming procedures to reduce their fears or provide entertainment for those who may have to endure a long stay in hospital.

Alec's Story

I am delighted to report on my son, Alec’s, improvement in behavior when having blood tests taken largely (if not all!) due to the wonderful assistance of the Child Life Therapist, Kerry. 

By way of background, my five-year-old son suffers from chronic renal failure since birth (due to a posterior urethral valve).  He requires frequent blood tests (at best every 2-3 months and at worst three times a day when admitted to hospital).  Unfortunately for Alec his vein size has been adversely affected by numerous courses of potent intravenous antibiotics - a cruel fate which apparently occurs not too infrequently to kidney kids.

My son’s fear of blood tests increased as he grew older and understood a visit to the hospital usually included a painful and stressful blood test.  These negative experiences culminated at the beginning of 2013 when I had to physically lie on top of him to restrain him while two nurses tried to locate an elusive vein.  Alec started having nightmares about blood tests and would cry he doesn’t want to visit doctors (quite impossible for a child suffering from a chronic illness and that have to visit the emergency room every time he has a fever).

We were lucky and ever grateful when Alec’s pediatrician suggested we use a Child Life Therapist.  

Kerry has gradually changed Alec’s experience and perception of blood tests.  The blood test equipment (ie tourniquet, syringe) we could take home has resulted in a desensitisation process and we can now even talk about blood tests without him falling in a heap.  Her clever reward system of interesting games on the iPad and a variety of toys have gradually won Alec over and the inclusion of small toys for Alec’s sister Verona has greatly added to the overall positive experience for our family of a visit to Kerry.

To my surprise Alec has started expressing joy when I mention we are going to visit Kerry (although he still sometimes oscillates between joy and concern, a strong trend towards joy is visible).  We were all astonished when Alec at his last blood test), without a local anesthetic, watched without uttering a sound the needle enter his skin and the vials fill up with blood.  When completed, he simply looked back at the iPad as if nothing unusual has occurred.  This dramatic turnaround in Alec’s behavior in just under a year is nothing short of a miracle in which Kerry played a key role.

- Jacoline (mother of Alec)

Hiyam's Story

Three-year-old Hiyam had been unwell for a long time, suffering from frequent fevers, coughs and flus, but her mum Yesmin was told it was just a virus. 

She also complained of pains in her tummy, and when her dad discovered a lump in her tummy on her 4th birthday, her worried parents took her to the night doctor, who sent her to their local hospital.The next day, Hiyam was transferred to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, where she was diagnosed with a tumour on her left kidney. Further tests revealed it had spread to other areas of her body, and her treatment began.  After being admitted to the Oncology Ward, Hiyam underwent regular sessions of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. While this has taken its toll, and is not an enjoyable experience, there have been some very welcome distractions for Hiyam while she’s been in the Hospital.

"Hiyam loves when the Child Life Therapists come around” 

"When they are here, she can just be herself in a way. She can be loud, she can be smiling, it just makes up her day - it really does."

"Kylie, her Child Life Therapist, is amazing. She has been a fantastic support while Hiyam has been undergoing radiotherapy, not just for her, but for me too. She takes us away from reality for a while." Yesmin said.

Hiyam has finished her treatment and now comes into the Hospital for regular check-ups.

Impact Report

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