Pirate-themed paradise for hospital


I&G worked with Rotherham Hospital’s charity to create a new pirate-themed children’s play area on the roof of the hospital, just outside the children’s ward.

Parents who have a child in hospital often say it’s one of the most stressful times in their lives. They needed an area where children could let off steam and play, giving parents and children a bit of normality.

The Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity began fundraising for a children’s playground in 2021, encouraging schools, businesses and community groups throughout the region to support its special fundraising campaign.

Previous young patients, their families and Children’s Ward staff told the charity what they wanted the playground to look and feel like, as well as voting for their favourite theme.

I&G staff spotted the potential for the rooftop site whilst working with the Trust Estates Team on other projects at the Hospital, and knew they could make it a real asset for families.

The solution

The I&G team designed a pirate-themed playground, and, working with the charity, procured the equipment, built, furnished and decorated it.

The playground included a large pirate ship, climbing frame, soft play items, goal posts and a seating area for parents, as well as a sheltered room where older children can sit and talk.

The team also added colourful soft flooring, and creatively embellished the safety fencing with bespoke graphics to give the area a nautical theme.
The team put £15,000 into the project, through materials, financial donations and time.

The challenges

Access to the playground site was difficult, with all materials having to be brought through hospital corridors onto site.

The site was also next to the children’s ward, so workers had to be conscious about always having a secure, safe site, and not making too much noise.

The main challenge was the time taken to complete the project, as the I&G team have been busy completing over twenty projects for Rotherham Hospital over the last three years, including an extension to the Urgent Care and Emergency Department, the refurbishment of several wards, a revamp of the discharge lounge and the creation of a staff wellbeing garden.

The result

The playground was opened with a party for children’s ward staff and children, with lots of pirate-themed fancy dress! Children from the ward designed flags for the pirate ship, which were added to the playground, and the I&G team loved seeing the children enjoying the results of their hard work.

I&G Managing Director Christopher Carline said:
“It’s a privilege that Rotherham Hospital has entrusted us to work on so many projects, as we can really see the difference that new facilities make to patient care. Our team are all local people who have loved working on the pirate playground, and they’re looking forward to seeing children being able to enjoy the results of their hard work.”

We’re amazed by the finished result. Having somewhere to play and let off steam will give poorly youngsters a chance to do something normal and fun, and will enhance their experience of being in hospital.

Rachael Dawes, Head of Fundraising for Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity