Young patients to meet dog with a difference at emergency services event

Arson dog

Young patients will get to meet a dog with a difference tomorrow (Friday) as the emergency services descend on Southampton Children’s Hospital for a day of fun-packed activities.

The event, organised by Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire Fire and Rescue and the healthcare play team at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, will see officers and fire crew visit the wards to meet patients and families.

The star attraction will be a highly-trained arson dog who will be taking a day off to get snout and about around the children’s hospital to meet patients, families and staff.

There will be an opportunity for young patients to head to the main entrance at Southampton General Hospital to look inside a fire engine and police van, while those too unwell to leave the wards will get the chance to try on uniforms and receive a selection of goodies.

PCSO Adey Griffiths, part of the Shirley and Freemantle neighbourhood policing team and one of the event organisers, said: “The idea is to try to give young patients a chance to experience something a little different while they are in hospital and provide a welcome distraction for relatives too.

“We have a day of fun-filled activities and events planned, including the chance to have a look inside a fire engine and police van, some stickers and colouring books to give out, an opportunity to try on uniforms and to meet our amazing arson dog.”

Laura Cane-Andrews, fire community safety officer, said: "This is a great opportunity to bring a bit of fun to young patients in hospital while also offering us the chance to link with our colleagues to promote and raise awareness of the work of the emergency services in our area."

Emma Chisman, healthcare play specialist at Southampton Children’s Hospital, added: “We are extremely grateful to Adey and the teams at both Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue for pulling this exciting day together.

“The event proved extremely successful last year and, now in its second year, we are sure it will be a huge hit with our current young patients and their families and staff – with many eager to meet our very special canine visitor.”

The police and fire vehicles will be on site at Southampton General Hospital’s main entrance from 10am.

Posted on Thursday 3 August 2017