Play specialists at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales today popped out to greet two new special residents.  Patients who were too unwell to brave the cold and wet winter weather tasked the play team to greet two new giraffes at the Noah’s Ark Garden that they’ll be meeting when well enough to go home.

The Noah’s Ark Garden, at the entrance to the children’s hospital is a well-used haven for parents of patients who sometimes need somewhere to escape or meditate for a few minutes from the stress of having a sick child receiving specialist treatment.

Iona Legge-Bourke visited the garden when it was first opened in 2012 and reflected that when her own daughter spent three weeks at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales in 2008, having the opportunity of a sanctuary to be able to visit would have been extremely beneficial. ‘I understand completely how helpless parents can feel when their child is in hospital; to know that there is a place to visit and get fresh air and have a moment to think in silence can certainly help a parent feel stronger to deal with the emotional trauma.’

The addition of the bronze giraffes was inspired by a visit to the play area at the newly refurbished nursery at Howell’s School. Lyn Jones, Chairman of Noah’s Ark said ‘We want to take away any fear that patients visiting the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales may have. We hope that our two new friends, very kindly donated by Howell’s School, will at the very least put a smile on the young children’s faces.’

With the giraffe featuring on the Noah’s Ark logo and Howell’s continuing commitment to the development of the Noah’s Ark garden, it seemed most appropriate to donate two giraffes identical to those in school. Mrs Sally Davis, the school’s Principal, said, “I am extremely proud of the students who work regularly to raise money for Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital Charity. We are delighted to have purchased these two giraffes for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Garden which we hope will bring a lot of fun to both the patients and the staff on a daily basis.”

The school is one of the main contributors to the garden and in addition to fundraising; pupils of all ages have played a full part in planning and creating the garden, in which animals feature prominently, guided by professional designers and a sculptor.

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