COVID-19 restrictions have made hospitals an even more isolated place for kids facing cancer with new rules and regulations causing many support services to be put on hold.
That’s why Camp Quality have launched a new national program – Puppet Digital Playdates to bring the fun and distraction of the Camp Quality Puppets to kids most isolated by cancer, in hospital or at home.
The program provides real-time, 10-minute interactive sessions with the Camp Quality puppets on kids’ personal devices, such as their laptop or iPad. The Digital Playdates give kids dealing with cancer treatments the chance to laugh, connect and have some fun. The project has been launched off the back of a successful trial, piloted at the Monash Children’s hospital in Melbourne.
It was Camp Quality mum, Michelle Silveira’s worst nightmare when her 4-year-old daughter Dakoda, was diagnosed with Leukemia in April this year, just after COVID-19 restrictions began.
“That day when she had her first chemo, they wouldn’t even allow us to swap parents in the room, one of us had to leave and we would swap in the foyer downstairs. It was horrible. Even now, when we go in as an inpatient, nothing’s open in the hospital. They really don’t even want you walking around outside your rooms” Michelle says. “Dakoda was one of the first kids in Australia to have a Puppet Digital Playdate and it was awesome. She loved it. It put a bit of spark back into her life. She got so absorbed by the puppets and it just made her life in hospital more normal and a bit happier.”
Camp Quality CEO, Deborah Thomas, says it is vital for Puppet Digital Playdates to bring much needed fun and laughter to kids like Dakoda.
“Puppet Digital Playdates means the much-loved Camp Quality puppets can now reach every child isolated by COVID-19 in hospital or at home, but it doesn’t stop there. Kids in regional and remote areas, as well as those in the stages of cancer treatment where their immune systems are vulnerable, will also be able to continue enjoying this new, real-time, digital service after COVID-19 restrictions pass. Everything we develop, as part of our suite of new digital programs, is done with the aim to make it an ongoing service for Camp Quality kids and families.”
To help give the fun and distraction of Puppet Digital Playdates to kids facing cancer, donate here to Camp Quality.
Camp Quality gives kids facing cancer the chance to be kids again. Camp Quality’s services and programs are created specifically to help children 0 –13 years, who are dealing with their own cancer diagnosis, or the diagnosis of someone they love, like a brother, sister, mum or dad. Camp Quality provides kids and their families with fun experiences, trusted information, coping tools and a supportive community: in-hospital, at home, at school and away from it all on camps and retreats. Camp Quality services and programs make happy memories that change the cancer story for kids and families at every stage of the cancer experience. In hospital, where Camp Quality sponsored Child Life Therapists support children undergoing cancer treatment in NSW and Victoria, and with the Camp Quality Puppets who provide fun and distraction for kids isolated by cancer with bedside visits and digitally via one-one-one interactive Puppet Digital Playdates. At school with our Primary School Education Program interactive cancer education puppets shows. At home, online with our Happiness Hub website, and trusted cancer education and information apps, Kids’ Guide to Cancer and the New Normal Navigator, and on day trips with Family Fun Days and Family Experiences, where families can reconnect and make memories. Most famously Camp Quality also takes kids and families Away from it all, on our Kids’ Camps and Family Camps. For respite in the hardest parts of the cancer experience Camp Quality also provides Retreats.
Camp Quality is currently developing Virtual Camps so kids can enjoy an interactive camp experience online, in real time.
Camp Quality is proud to ranked as Australia’s most reputable children’s cancer charity for kids 0 -13 by the AMR, Annual RepTrak Report 2019, Reputation Institute.