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World Book Day celebration at hospital is a Paige turner

09 March 2015

Health Care

Seven year old Paige Blundell, from Westcliff, was looking forward to dressing up at school and getting involved in World Book Day, only to find that she had a hospital appointment and would miss out on all of the fun.

Imagine her surprise when World Book Day came to her on the Neptune children's ward at Southend Hospital, courtesy of Jacqson Diego Story Emporium, an independent children's bookshop from Hamlet Court Road.

Paige, like other children on the ward, got to have a story read to her one-to-one. She then received a World Book Day token which she was able to redeem immediately by choosing her own free book.

She said: "This has made my day a bit more special and it was great as I didn't get to miss World Book Day and has made up a little bit for me missing it at school."

The event was organised by assistant librarian at the hospital, Alison Cairns. She said: "Around 20 children have benefited from us being here. We knew that the children in hospital couldn't take part in World Book Day at school so wanted to bring some of the entertainment, excitement and all important escapism of World Book Day to them."

Jacqueline Johnson, founder and managing director of Jacqson Diego, added: "We are a not for profit community bookshop and aim to engage with all children in the community, whether that be in a school or hospital. And we couldn't let children in hospital miss out all of the enjoyment."

Earlier in the day children from the ward and the hospital's Ladybird Nursery joined in the book fun as they were entertained by Hannah Brailsford from Tiny Tails Storytellers with her puppets. The children then got a chance to make their own finger puppets, which saw the likes of Elsa from Frozen and Spider-Man joining forces in their own unique tales.