Please help us to bring joy to sick children this Christmas

St Vincent’s Kids Ward in East Melbourne is one of the largest private paediatric units in Victoria. The unit specialises in orthopaedics, ear nose and throat and general surgery. In December 2019, the nurses were inspired to ‘transform’ the ward using fun artistic pieces that focused on the theme of ‘The Elves on the Shelf’. This visually stimulating concept now plays a vital role in improving the wellbeing and happiness of the children who are patients.

The use of themed art in hospitals has proven to have significant health benefits, particularly for young patients. It has been shown to lessen their fears by creating a fun yet calming atmosphere that can distract them from focusing on any pain. It also plays a big part in alleviating the boredom of a hospital stay.

The staff not only donate their own time, but they also pay for the decorations out of their own pocket. This is a shining example of just how devoted St Vincent’s nurses are to their patients. 

After experiencing the smiles on the children’s faces and being inspired by the desire to make their patients’ stay in hospital as positive as possible, the members of the hard-working and dedicated paediatric team took it upon themselves to rollout new themes every three months.

Please help us to assist our nurses continue to bring joy to sick children by giving a gift that will help them to heal. Your gift will go towards providing a year’s worth of artistic decorations to transform the ward.

The ward transformation has surprised and delighted patients, featuring a variety of creative themes including an Easter theme, Halloween, an Aussie Christmas, Australia Day and Anzac Day. 

The decorations provide endless delight and distraction for the patients and their families. One of themes, ‘Under the Sea’, even incorporated a ‘find the Nemos’ game. The children loved the ward. Not only did it alleviate their boredom, but it gave them a positive memory to focus on from their hospital experience. 

The staff love the reactions the decorations receive. One staff member recalls ‘seeing the joy on the children’s faces when they come in makes it all worth it’.

St Vincent’s Kids Ward Nurse Unit Manager, Lucy Longworth, said the themes have been a terrific team-building exercise, especially during the COVID-19 lockdowns. ‘“Everybody is involved, from sourcing items, colouring and creating the artwork, to decorating the ward. The staff even purchase scrubs tops to match each theme.” 

Parents love the themes. Rachel, one of the parents, said, “The experience of walking into the ward is beyond amazing – the children’s faces light up instantly! The decorations are so fantastic that it doesn’t even feel like a hospital”.

Our nurses continue to go above and beyond. “None of my staff complain that they have to pay for the decorations, but it would be really nice if we were able to get some support to continue the themes. It would be a great way to thank the team for the wonderful work they do,” Lucy said.

Please support our nurses to bring joy to their patients not only at Christmas, but throughout the entire year. Your gift will help to provide hours of enjoyment as well many healing benefits for the young patients in St Vincent’s Kids Ward.


St Vincent's Foundation
Ground floor
Rear, 55 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065