Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Charity have generously supported Alder Hey Children’s Hospital’s Arts for Health programme for the last thirteen years.
Since 2004, Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Charity have provided crucial funding for projects that give children and families at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital the opportunity to participate in dance, movement and music projects that engage and inspire young patients.
Last year, Wallace Gromit’s Children’s Charity funded a music-making project with young patients undergoing long-term neurological rehabilitation, including Malaika, who had suffered multiple burn injuries which have particularly affected the functionality and mobility of her hands and arms.
When Malaika first began this project, she was unable to move and was covered with a blanket up to her neck. She spoke very quietly. Over the course of this six month project, Malaika has made enormous progress; she can now use her hands and arms more extensively, and to support this development, lead musician, Beatrice, has used the ukulele with Malaika regularly to encourage her to play simple chords through strumming gently.
Week by week, the returning dexterity in Malaika’s fingers and hands have allowed for full explorations of the sounds of the individual strings. Malaika’s enthusiasm for making music and engaging with the instrument has impressed both family and healthcare staff, far outreaching their expectations.
To support her recovery and further her development musically, Malaika was presented with own ukulele to keep, which she can use outside of her music sessions with Beatrice. This has proved to be an extremely positive distraction as Malaika continues her extremely challenging and painful treatment.