This summer, we saw the conclusion of Sound, a three-year music project for in-patients funded by Children In Need. Over 800 children and young people have benefitted from one-to-one sessions with professional musicians, supporting their mental well-being and helping them to cope with hospital stays.
In July, Sound was the highlight of a live broadcast from Alder Hey on BBC Breakfast, presented by Owain Wyn Evans. Alongside some of our patients, Owain announced the Children in Need Appeal fundraising total live from Alder Hey’s gardens. One of the brave young patients who helped Owain with his drum roll on the day was Amber.
15 year old Amber lives in Windermere and was treated at Alder Hey for eight weeks, where it was discovered that she had an underdeveloped thyroid causing hypothyroidism. This can cause tiredness and weight gain among other issues. Amber also suffered with dilated cardiomyopathy, meaning her muscles could not properly pump blood around her body, leading to an increased risk of heart failure.
During her time at Alder Hey, Amber benefitted from several musical sessions that were available to patients in the hospital and it really enhanced her experience during her stay. Amber said: "While the music people are here and I'm playing the instruments, I forget I'm in hospital sick!"
Amber’s mum Sharon said: “Amber has been brought up listening to her Dad's Favourite Classical pieces. On asking the Harpist to play 'Cannon' and calling it the family anthem, Amber said that it made her feel like she was sat at home with her dad. Amber loved her music sessions and they were so valuable to her.”
Alder Hey’s Arts Coordinator Vicky Charnock said
“We are immensely grateful for the support of BBC Children in Need that helps to fund the most incredible professional arts practitioners, who care deeply about the children and young people they work with in the hospital. I’m in awe of the inspiring children and their families that I meet, many of whom are facing huge challenges but always remain positive. There is nothing better than seeing a child’s face light up when they take part in the arts, or hearing how the arts have helped a child with their treatment.”
From everyone here at Alder Hey, thank you to BBC Children in Need for their ongoing support and we wish them lots of luck for their appeal night!