New mural celebrates 10th Anniversary of Sophie's Place

CHILDREN receiving treatment on Northbrook Ward at Royal Hampshire County Hospital now have a new set of murals to enjoy when they enter the ward – thanks to the fundraising efforts of a local charity.

Friday 27 October 2017


Sophies Place - Group Photo

Photo (left to right): Katie Hulbert a nurse on Sophie’s Place, with artist Kelly Griffiths and Mark and Lin Barringer.

Sophie’s Place, a purpose-built assessment and short stay area for children and young people within Northbrook Ward, the children’s ward at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, recently celebrated its tenth birthday.

To mark the occasion, Sophie’s Appeal, the charity that helped to create Sophie’s Place, commissioned an artist to create an under the sea theme in the main corridor of the ward, and a beach theme just outside the main doors, bringing a smile to the faces of the little ones spending time on the ward.

Sophie’s Appeal was set up by Mike and Lin Barringer in memory of their daughter, Sophie, who received treatment on Northbrook Ward before she sadly passed away in 2004. They continue to work closely with the staff on the ward and have also provided equipment and furniture for it.

Speaking during a celebration event held to mark the tenth birthday of Sophie’s Place, Mike and Lin said: “Knowing that we are making a difference to other families is really special. We feel incredibly proud of the Sophie’s legacy and what we have been able to achieve in her name.

“Sophie was a very sparkly little girl who loved bright colours, so we know this would have put a smile on her face!” 

Katie Hulbert, one of the nurses on Sophie’s Place, was there to help celebrate the ten year anniversary.

She said: “Sophie’s Place has made a difference for both patient care and patient experience. We are able to effectively observe the children as they play and are engaged with everything in the room.

“It’s really nice for the children and their parents to be able to come into a bright and colourful area, which helps to make sure they are relaxed.”

The artist behind the murals, Kelly Griffiths, added: “We came up with the underwater theme because we were sure that it would appeal to all of the children. We even added some of Sophie’s lost treasure – special gold coins with stars on them.

“The project was hard work but it was all worth it when you see the children spotting their favourite characters! It’s been an amazing thing to be part of.”

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital and Andover War Memorial Hospital said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the murals. The design really puts a smile on the children’s faces and makes such a difference to patient experience. I’d like to say a big thank you to Mike and Lin and the ongoing support from Sophie’s Appeal.”