SMHOG Drama Workshop at Ronald McDonald House Manchester
South Manchester Helen O'Grady
SMHOG Drama and Acting
It was a great privilege for SMHOG Drama Academy to provide a drama workshop to the children at Ronald McDonald House in Manchester. For those of you who do not know what this is, Ronald McDonald House Manchester opened in May 2012, providing free ‘home away from home’ accommodation to families with children receiving treatment in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital near to the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Families travel to Manchester from across the North West, the UK and even internationally, so that their children can receive specialist treatment at the The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Ronald McDonald House Manchester houses 60 en-suite rooms over five floors and is equipped with everything a family needs to feel at home including communal areas, lounges, self-catering kitchens, dining areas, playrooms, laundry facilities, a teenager room and quiet areas. The House is also open to families coming to the hospital for day care, for example those whose children are receiving chemotherapy or renal dialysis.
Ronald McDonald House Manchester is more than just a place to stay. It offers comfort, support and a safe environment where families can interact, share their experiences and know that they will always have a shoulder to cry on. Extended families are encouraged to visit and events and workshops are hosted to keep families strong and full of hope. The House is directly opposite The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in central Manchester enabling families to continue their lives with some degree of normality, knowing they are just moments from their child’s bedside. To make them feel even closer to their child each room in the House has a direct phone-line to the children’s ward. The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital provides specialist healthcare services for children and young people throughout the North West, as well as nationally and internationally. The hospital tends to over 140,000 patients each year across a range of specialities including oncology, haematology, bone marrow transplant, burns and orthopaedics. For more information about how to support Ronald McDonald House Manchester, please follow the links provided.
The Drama Class
Ruth, our Deputy Principal, took the session which was attended by children staying at the centre with their parents. These children were the siblings of those children who are in the hospital often suffering from serious and life threatening illnesses and gave them the opportunity to take part in a drama class where they acted out various scenarios taken from our current curriculum. It was marvellous to see some of the confidence and expression of the children who had not taken part in anything like this before. It was also great to see many of the parents come to the session and watch with a smile on their face as their child entered a world created by their own imagination. Some parents were visibly able to relax whilst SMHOG Drama entertained their children and many spoke of their relief to be able to have a break even though it was only for an hour or so. The staff and some of the children were dressed in their best Halloween costumes as witches, ghouls, skeletons and zombies. My favourite was a little girl dressed as a purple witch in a wild and funky outfit made from scratch by mum involving purple tights, spiders, broomstick and wild hair. Hopefully we will get a photo sent to us.
After about half an hour or so, some of the children came down from the ward with their nurses to meet their families. This meant that they were able to watch the drama class taking place and to see their brothers and sisters perform. SMHOG Drama Academy had a great time. We await the photographs which were taken as part of the event which we will bring to you as soon as we get them either through this website or through our Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/smhoggi.
Thank you to all the staff and parents for making us very welcome to their Halloween event.