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Red Cross Children’s Hospital Radio

The Problem

Children in hospital commonly experience high levels of anxiety, isolation, fear and loneliness. These emotions are amplified when, as is frequently the case, there is little communication or consultation with them about their condition, diagnoses and treatment. Research demonstrates that children’s well-being in hospital can be significantly improved through access to stimulating age-appropriate recreational and educational activities. There is also increasing recognition of the value that a child’s perspective can offer, in order to improve hospital environments and experiences for children.

The Solution

The first ever hospital radio station for, and led by, children is being established under the auspices of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital Facilities Board. Child-produced radio is a rapidly developing field, with preliminary evidence pointing to many positive outcomes for both children and adults. While there are a number of children’s hospital radio stations globally, this will be the first in the world to involve patients as programme producers and broadcast presenters with the explicit aim of foregrounding and improving children’s experiences of illness and hospital.

Facilitated by medical doctor and children’s media expert Dr Gabriel Urgoiti, the initiative will educate, stimulate, entertain and create a reciprocal communication channel between hospitalised children, their families and the health services.

Its aim is to:

  • Alleviate children’s anxiety and loneliness while in hospital
  • Give sick children an outlet to share their experiences, concerns and questions with parents, health professionals and other children
  • Help sick children cope better with their illness and its treatment
  • Improve their well-being through access to recreational and learning activities
  • Sensitise parents and health workers to children’s experiences of illness and hospital, and improve hospital practices
How you can Help

The Trust has committed to raising R4.8million to support the first two years of this pioneering initiative. During this period, the initiative will be established, aspects of its model tested and refined, and its impact on patients, their families, and the health services assessed.

Your support will provide approximately 80 chronically ill children with the skills to produce and broadcast programmes about their experiences to the broader hospital community, give health workers and family members important new insights into a hospitalised child’s unique perspective, and provide vital emotional support and mental stimulation to thousands of ill children during their stay at the Hospital.

For information regarding how you can help please contact