Sun and Stars Appeal

The children’s inpatient wards at West Middlesex University Hospital provide care to over 8,000 babies, children and young people every year. This is continuing to increase with a quarter of the local population under 18 years of age.

While the hospital staff on these wards provide excellent care, the environment in which they are treated requires significant improvement.

We are transforming these wards to create a child-friendly, welcoming, calming environment with better facilities, specifically designed to make being in hospital easier for children and their parents. Improvements include installing a dedicated teenagers' space, a new play room, a 'home-from-home' parents' area, entertainment equipment and technology at every bedside, and bespoke artwork throughout.

We need to raise over £100,000 from our local community to transform these wards for our youngest patients. So far we have raised over £75,000 from generous supporters.

SEGA® Teenage Space

We have already created a new dedicated space for teenagers to enjoy during their hospital stay. Thanks to the generosity of local company SEGA®, the previous small, outdated area has been replaced with a bespoke room, designed by CW+ and teenage patients. Classic SEGA® characters adorn the walls, and teenagers can relax on bean bags in the chill-out area. We have also created a retro gaming station and provided a selection of board games and books to help create a cheerful and enjoyable space for teenage patients.

Find out more here.

With your continued support, we can:

Provide better play facilities

The children and young people seen by the unit range in age from 10 days to 18 years old. We want to extend the play facilities for children of all ages, with interactive sensory equipment, child friendly furniture and access to technology.

Bring entertainment and distraction to the bedside

Currently, there is nothing by the bedsides to entertain or distract children. We want to provide each child with a digital screen, as well as colourful and engaging artwork on walls. Research1 tells us that simple distractions in a hospital setting can reduce anxiety during painful treatments, which is especially important for children. 

Transform and improve facilities for parents

Every night, at least 18 out of 20 children will have a parent sleeping in a chair by their side. We want to provide better, and more comfortable, sleeping facilities for parents. We also want to create a dedicated space for parents to take time away from the bedside in a ‘home-from-home’ environment with kitchen facilities to help make it a little bit easier to spend extended periods of time at hospital with their children. 


To find out more, and how to get involved, please contact or call 020 3315 6600

To make a donation, please click here. Thank you for your support.


Katy and Jonathan's Story

Local residents, Katy and Jonathan Cooper, know only too well what it is like to spend time at hospital with their children, which is why they are supporting this appeal. Their five-year-old son, Stanley, has suffered with an undiagnosed condition since birth – which can result in lengthy stays at the hospital, while he is reliant on oxygen. Their daughter, Ruby, who was born prematurely in January this year, has also suffered with breathing issues.

Katy says: “We are passionate about supporting this appeal. We know, from our experiences with Stanley and Ruby, just how traumatic it can be when children are in hospital. Creating a child friendly environment which caters for the different age groups that Starlight sees will really make a difference to children and their families. The play room in Starlight, although basic, is a vital part of Stanley’s time at the hospital. It is somewhere he can go to escape from the medical interventions. He can play. He can build. He can craft. He can be a little boy. He is really fond of the space and the staff allow him to play and be himself. It gives him real comfort. It will be great to see this area improved.”

Stanley, aged 5, says: "Being in the playroom is good. I can stretch my legs. There is nothing to do but sit in the bed on the ward. I can squeeze the special toy and look at the books the play staff give me so I don’t have to look at the cannula."

Tina and Luca's Story

Tina Perry lives in Isleworth with her husband David and Luca, their six year old son. Luca was born two months premature. Due to complications with his oesophagus he was transferred to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for surgery, at just one day old. Later, he was transferred to the Special Care Baby Unit at West Middlesex Hospital, where he spent two weeks. When he was seven months old he had open heart surgery and was transferred from the Royal Brompton Hospital to West Middlesex Hospital, where he spent a week on Starlight ward. Since then, he has had a number of trips back to the hospital.

Tina believes it is important to invest in the environment as much as the care.

“When Luca was little I felt I couldn’t leave him alone. We were so tired and stressed. We weren’t eating. Although there is a parent’s room, it is basic, and doesn’t have many facilities. If there was somewhere on the ward where we could have grabbed something to eat and drink, it would have made an enormous difference. The ward, although clean, feels cold and clinical. It is a children’s ward and it would be good to see bright colours and stimulation for the children. When you have a child in hospital, you are scared. You are daunted. Your children are naturally scared. Anything that can be done to alleviate this and to improve the surroundings that children are in can make the experience far less stressful. When you have a sick child and you are waiting around in hospital for long periods of time, you want the environment to reassure you as much as the Doctors and Nurses.” 

1Carwile JL, Feldman S, Johnson NR. (2014) Use of a simple visual distraction to reduce pain and anxiety in patients undergoing colposcopy.

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