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Word on the Ward at Alder Hey

Word on the Ward launches at Alder Hey with author Nico Russell and actor Eithne BrowneAlder Hey Children’s Hospital launched a new initiative today, using storytelling and reading to improve children’s experience in hospital.

Local author Nico Russell and actress Eithne Brown joined Alder Hey patients and families at a special reading event to launch Word on the Ward. The new reading for pleasure project aims to reduce the boredom that comes from lengthy hospital stays, and treatment.

Eithne Browne reads Nana's KnickersAt the launch, Eithne read Nico’s latest book ‘Nana’s Knickers’ to patients on the hospital’s D2 Ward, where many patients often spend hours having dialysis treatment. Nico also talked to the young patients about his book, which is already a favourite with children across the hospital.

Nico said: “I am delighted that Nana’s Knickers was chosen to launch this project and I’m honoured to have been invited to join the children here today. I am originally from the Wirral and so I know already about the great work of Alder Hey and was more than happy to help. I am looking forward to meeting patients and their families at the hospital and hope they all enjoy the book!”

Nico Russell shows his book to a young patientEithne said: “I was thrilled to be asked to read such a delightful children’s book to patients at Alder Hey and help the hospital launch Word on the Ward. I am incredibly passionate about encouraging children to enjoy reading and hope they have as much fun at this event as I will!”

Alder Hey will deliver Word on the Ward with support from other partners including Liverpool City Libraries, Blackwell’s Bookshop, Littlewoods and Alder Hey Children’s Charity. Along with building a library of books donated by Readwell for patients, the hospital is planning a pilot with children who have Cystic Fibrosis, encouraging them to read during lengthy infusion treatments. Local children’s author Hilary Keating has delivered storytelling training for staff and volunteers from across the hospital and members of Alder Hey’s Children and Young Peoples Forum have also reviewed children’s books about health conditions.

Sheelaugh Greenslade, Patient Information Manager at Alder Hey said: “The support we have received for Word on the Ward from the private, public and voluntary sectors is fantastic. I would like to thank Nico and Eithne for coming along today and helping us launch such an exciting project. Word on the Ward will aim to help distract children from pain and encourage greater interaction, while also enabling our patients to have a little fun while they are here!”

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