Hughie and Freddie's Play Appeal

Best friends Hughie and Freddie need YOU to help revamp the much-loved rooftop play area at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Hughie is a leukaemia patient at our hospital and Freddie is his best friend, who has stood by him throughout his diagnosis and treatment.

The area is so well-loved by patients, it has become worn and shabby. After 14 years of happy memories and use by our patients, it needs to be completely overhauled to bring it back to life.

Join Hughie and Freddie today and help them raise £300,000 to refurbish the rooftop play area!

About Hughie & Freddie

The youngsters have been fundraising for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital ever since Hughie was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2020. They’ve already funded lifesaving and lifechanging equipment, as well as music therapy sessions and resources for other cancer patients just like Hughie. Now they have their sights set on a new project….and they need your help!

Their goal is a big one – they need £300,000 to revamp the hospital’s rooftop play area.

How the rooftop play area is used

The rooftop play area at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital is such a popular area. This much-loved facility enables young patients – many of whom may be staying at the hospital for weeks, months or years – to have some fresh air, time to play and enjoy a welcome break outside. This space enables them the freedom to be children again, while still being in a safe environment where care professionals are on hand.

And when Hughie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, aged 10, one of his favourite days during his inpatient stay was when he was able to spend time playing outside in the rooftop play area.

“It was the first bit of fresh air I’d had in about five or six weeks when I went up there,” said Hughie. “I wasn’t well enough to leave the hospital, so it was such a nice feeling being outside again but knowing I was safe and still in the hospital.”

Susan Fairclough is the Head of Therapeutic Play at the children’s hospital and has seen thousands of children benefit from the area over the years. She said: “Our young patients using the area seem to forget they’re in hospital – enjoying the fresh air, in all kinds of weather, and having fun. Seeing patients running around or brought up in their wheelchairs or in their beds has brought many families and staff so much pleasure in seeing their faces. They’re having a good time and joining in lots of activities and recreation. It really is a healing environment.”

Why we need your help

The rooftop area is incredibly well-loved and used but it’s in desperate need of a makeover. The space, which was built in 2009 when the hospital first opened, is looking tired. It’s 14 years old now and the wear and tear of everyday use is taking its toll. Although all the equipment is safe, it has become shabby and worn.

We urgently need to give the rooftop a brand new look and feel, to provide our patients with the state-of-the-art outdoor play area they deserve.

And that’s where you come in…YOU can be part of a special appeal which gives children of all ages the chance to feel like kids again while they receive the vital, and often lifesaving, treatment they need in our hospital.

Spending time in hospital can be an anxious time for our young patients and their families, but with your support, we can provide a welcoming, fun space to make the time they spend with us that little bit easier.

Be part of something special…

This £300,000 appeal will enable us to completely overhaul the area. From the moment our young patients enter the corridor leading up to the rooftop play area, the space will be inviting and fun. As they step outside they’ll be taken in by colours, shapes and play areas specifically designed to be accessible to all children, including those who have a range of access needs. They will be able to enjoy moving around, practise their physiotherapy exercises or just relax and enjoying a change of scenery from the ward.

There will be sensory green space that can be used for parties or fun gardening work. There will also be quieter spaces for relaxing and the whole area will come to life in the evening as it is surrounded by lighting.

To make sure the space can be used all year round, in any Manchester weather, the space will be well prepared with dedicated heated and sheltered areas to protect from the elements. There will also be Wi-Fi and plug-in points for older children to use, making it suitable for all our patients –from babies through to teenagers and young people.

Donate Now

As each day passes, the rooftop play area is becoming even more worn and tired. But with your support, we can begin to change that!

It only takes a few minutes to fill out our simple form and make your donation today. Whatever you can afford will be very much appreciated and will make a real difference to poorly children being cared for right now.

From Hughie, Freddie and all the team at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, THANK YOU