Merlin’s Magic Wand
5th February 2019
The Merlin’s Magic Wand Charity strives to ensure the magic of Merlin is accessible to all children
One of the ways the charity helps spread the Merlin magic is via one of the charity’s three magic spells, ‘Merlin’s Magic Spaces’. These projects involve creating and delivering bespoke installations which bring the magic of Merlin to those children, whom for various reasons are unable to access our Merlin attractions. These projects are tailored to meet the needs of the children attending the hospital, hospice or school to ensure we maximise the space available and transform the spaces to make the biggest impact.
However, some children are unable to travel the small distance required to reach these new magic spaces. To get closer to fulfilling our promise of accessible magic for everyone, we put on our thinking caps, teamed up with some fantastic people at Merlin Magic Making and the Mobile Entertainment Units were created!
The idea for the Mobile Entertainment Units was originally sparked following a Magic Spaces Project which the Merlin Magic Making Studios North team delivered at the University Hospital, North Midlands. The feedback from the hospital following the completed magic space was fantastic. However, it highlighted that there were still a few children who were unfortunately unable to make the short distance from their hospital bed to join in the fun of the newly created magic space. Therefore we needed to come up with a magical plan! We investigated incorporating some of the fantastic interactive play areas of the Magic Spaces Projects into a mobile unit, which could be easily stored and transported from ward to ward.
Eleanor Turner, Merlins Magic Spaces Project Manager, explains the process behind creating these innovative bespoke units.
“I researched and worked closely with the hospital to understand the children and staff’s requirements. I collated this information and passed the brief on to a designer to sketch the concept design. This design was then sent across to Merlin’s Magic Making Studios North where the production of the Mobile Entertainment Unit became an apprentice project. The magical apprentice team - including Reece Poole, Matthew Roberts and Jordan Kent - used their collective expertise to produce the first Mobile Entertainment Units for the Merlin’s Magic Wand Charity. These original units were successfully donated and trialled at the University Hospital, North Midlands.
As the Project Manager for Merlin’s Magic Wand, I feel these units are invaluable and enable us to reach more children around the world and brighten their day. Fun and laughter is a great healer and our aim is to make fun accessible across the globe.”
Following on from the successful trial, the Mobile Entertainment Units proved to provide some much needed respite for the children and offered an outlet to escape from their hospital life. Their daily hospital routine may involve medical care which can be uncomfortable or painful. These units provide hours of distraction and interactive play through creative LEGO and DUPLO play. The Xbox gaming system has also encouraged a few children to complete their homework and assists with continuing their education whilst in the hospital.
In the Merlin’s Magic Wand Charity’s 10th Birthday year, we set ourselves a target to gift 10 Mobile Entertainment Units to hospitals across the world. We are very proud to confirm that with the support of the local Merlin attractions we have donated to children’s hospitals in the UK and Europe with more to follow in China, Malaysia, the USA and Australia.
Here are just some of the locations where children are already enjoying and benefiting from these amazing new units.
Ms. Simander and Ms. Borgolte of the "Hauner Verein" were delighted, saying "SEA LIFE finally puts an end to the boredom at the stations. The tower can be rolled to every bed of our little patients. Build Lego, measure forces with friends on the game console, or just watch your favourite movie - the kids who were already allowed to test the tower could hardly stray from playing. "
We have stepped up our charitable efforts in 2018 and will continue to be proactive and innovative to spread the magic of Merlin to everyone where it is most needed in 2019. Will you step up with us to help create even more smiles, giggles and laughs?
Alone we can do a little, together we are doing a lot!