Wally never! World Book Day comes to Southend Hospital
02 March 2017
Where’s Wally? Turns out he’s helping bring World Book Day to poorly children on Neptune Children’s Ward at Southend University Hospital.
Alongside the hospital's Education Centre Library and with the
help of the Jacqson Diego Story Emporium, from Southend, the magic
of books was brought to the ward and the hospital's Ladybird
Lisa Kawa-Akenbo, Play Specialist on Neptune Ward, said: "This
year marks the 20th year of World Book Day so it would
have been a shame for those too poorly to attend school or
activities to miss out, so we wanted to help bring the day to
The day aims to encourage children to explore the pleasures of
books and reading, with the book themes this year at the hospital
being 'Everyone Loves Underpants' by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort
and 'Where's Wally' by Martin Handford.
Stories were read in groups, as well as to individuals who were
unable to leave their beds, there were also plenty of associated
craft activities to help keep them occupied.
Lisa added: "It's been fantastic celebrating World Book Day on
the ward. It's provided an opportunity for our patients to be
part of this national event. The books the children and young
people have received through this scheme will keep them entertained
during their time in hospital. The Story Emporium's
activities and stories have been a wonderful distraction during a
potentially stressful time."
Joshua Davey, 12, from Southend, said: "It's been epic and nice
to have some stories read to us, I've had a really good time and
got a free book as well. As I'm not at school I would have missed
And Jacqueline Johnson, founder of Jacqson Diego Story Emporium,
hoped that the delights that they help bring to children at
Southend University Hospital will be a chapter that long
She said: "Celebrating World Book Day with the children and
staff on Neptune Ward and at the hospital's Ladybird Nursery has
become an annual event for us at Jacqson Diego Story Emporium. It
is our favourite event in the calendar and we are proud to support
our local hospital and the children, by bringing books and stories
to life for them on this day.
"World Book Day is 20 years old this year! 20 years of
celebrating the wonder and power of books and we look forward to
sharing many more books and stories with the children who find
their lives connected to the hospital in the future."
Lynda Bartholomew, Manager of the Ladybird Nursery, added: "We
were delighted to celebrate World Book Day with Jacqson Diego Story
Emporium again this year. The children thoroughly enjoyed joining
in with the wonderful activities provided and loved using their
tokens to purchase a book in the nursery role play library area.
Staff and children in the nursery dressed up as Wally or their
favourite book character which also added to the excitement on the
day. Thank you Jacqson Diego Story Emporium for making World Book
Day such a special occasion."
Emma Silvey, Assistant Librarian (Clinical and Outreach) at the
hospital, concluded: "We feel that it is really important to ensure
that children in hospital don't miss out on World Book Day and are
proud to be working again with Neptune Ward, the Ladybird Nursery
and Jacqson Diego Story Emporium to help co-ordinate this