Mirvac chips in for burns unit playground

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Common purpose: Ari Salehi from Mirvac with Sophie Burns at the new play centre.

Young burns patients from south west Sydney and across the metropolitan area now have a place to play and speed their recovery following the opening of a new playground at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, donated and built by Mirvac and its contractors and suppliers.

Once a dilapidated courtyard, the area has been transformed into a joyful place where children recovering from burns and reconstruction can begin the process of rehabilitation through the simple joy of play.

The playground was officially opened by Dr Michael Brydon, acting chief executive of the Children’s Hospital and Toby Long, general manager, major projects residential, Mirvac.

Mr Long said Mirvac had moved towards establishing a long term partnership with The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, using its expertise in construction and project management to deliver projects that offered real benefits to the hospital, its staff and young patients.

“Mirvac specialises in creating communities for children; the hospital specialises in the care of children,” said Mr Long.

“We have a common purpose and Mirvac looks forward to building a strong and enduring partnership with the hospital.

“When it comes to kids we are never short of volunteers and everybody who has been involved in this project has done so with a huge amount of goodwill.”

More than 40 companies generously donated labour and materials to build the $220,000 playground, many of whom also were involved in the building of the Support For Kids House that resulted in a $240,000 donation to the hospital in 2013.

Head of the Burns Unit Dr John Harvey said play was an important part of the recovery process for children who had suffered major burns.

“The playground is a great thing that will excite the children and stimulate them to exercise and rehabilitate themselves,” said Dr Harvey.

“With major burns, particularly those affecting the joints, there are physical issues that have to be addressed relating to mobility, growth and fine motor skills. We deal with these in a formal sense through physiotherapy but with children we are constantly looking for things that will interest and distract them, providing the kind of exercise that will assist their rehabilitation.

“The child has to be rehabilitated as fast as possible to pre-burn life and the playground will help them to do so.”

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead is the referral centre for all major paediatric burns in NSW and treats around 1,500 children every year.



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