The Royal Patron of the Leeds Children’s Hospital, HRH The Countess of Wessex, met members of the hospital’s Youth Forum and officially open their newly created meeting space, The Place 2be @LTHT, during a visit on Tuesday 11 October.
The new facility has been created within the hospital close to the Clarendon Wing main entrance and is a dedicated space for teenagers to give them a meeting place and activity centre away from the wards. This was one of the top priorities Youth Forum members identified at their inaugural meeting two years ago.
Her Royal Highness officially opened the newly created space, which has been developed thanks to a grant from the Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal to provide a bright, modern flexible space for events, socialising and relaxing. Comfortable chairs and high tech IT equipment has been enhanced with wall art funded by the Rays of Sunshine charity.
Louise Porter, Lead Nurse for Transition of Children and Young People, who works closely with the Youth Forum, said:
“This facility has been created specifically to meet the needs identified by members of the Youth Forum, and many of the members who came along to meet The Countess of Wessex on this visit were seeing it for the first time since the work begun. It was great to for them to see how their ideas have come to fruition and they were delighted with the finished result.
Sue Morgan, Teenage Cancer Trust Nurse Consultant, who works closely with the group, added: “The Forum are a fantastic group of young people who are full of ideas about how we can make the hospital better for them and for future patients. It was a really lively and interesting discussion and the Forum were really delighted by the interest shown by the Royal visitor.
“We’re really grateful for the charitable support we have received to make this facility possible. It will truly help transform the experience for many of our young people.”
The Place 2be @LTHT, staffed by a youth worker, will be a base for both inpatients and outpatients at the hospital as a drop-in facility. As well as an informal sitting room there is breakout area for more privacy as well as a kitchen and a range of entertainment including TV, games, ipads and laptops.
It will be used for a weekly movie night and to show and create Leeds Children’s Hospital TV films, and as a bookable space by staff for other special events, and will also work closely with the hospital’s school, The Learning Zone, to provide extra facilities and space for young people who need to continue their school work or sit exams while in hospital.
The Youth Forum is made up of young people who are or have been patients of Leeds Children’s Hospital, many with long-term condition which means they spend a lot of time in hospital. They have become an important voice in developing services at the hospital with teenagers in mind, and in particular in looking at better ways of bridging the transition between children’s and adult services.
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