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Children’s charity brings a touch of magic to Shropshire hospital wards - but visits on hold for now

By Lisa O'Brien | Gobowen | Coronavirus | Published: | Last Updated:

A children’s charity has been bringing a touch of magic to the paediatric ward at Shropshire's orthopaedic hospital for nearly three decades, but visits have been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic.

Magician David Oakley, one of Pod’s entertainers, on the RJAH paediatric ward

Pod children’s charity is a nationwide charity which has been running since 1977, starting visits to hospitals outside of London in 1991.

It organises entertainment for children in hospital with the aim of alleviating the trauma of a hospital stay by sowing the seeds of fun and laughter.

The charity uses magicians, puppeteers, musicians and clowns to create smiles and provide monthly shows in over 150 hospitals and hospices throughout the UK.

The visits to The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, near Oswestry, have been funded by the hospital’s League of Friends since 1999.

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A legacy bequeathed by a local donor meant that Pod was able to provide a second monthly visit from April 2019 onwards.

Margaret Munford, who runs Pod, said: “It’s been so lovely that we have been able to provide Pod magic at the RJAH for many years, seeing the difference our visits make to the patients and their families is wonderful.

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“We have three objectives at Pod; making smiles and having fun in hospital, distracting from pain and anxiety, and improving attitude to hospitalisation, treatment and readmission.

"We really do have so many patient stories that illustrate the success of these objectives.”

Victoria Sugden, League of Friends charity director, said: “We are delighted to fund these visits and very much look forward to when we can welcome Pod’s entertainers back to the hospital.

"I know patients, their families and staff very much look forward to a dose of Pod magic.”

Margaret added: “We don’t as yet know when visits will resume but we shall be working closely with the hospital to ensure that when they do, every precaution is taken.

"Children, families and staff could do with a little bit of Pod laughter, so we look forward to a time when it is safe for us to return.”

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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