The Beach

"When I go to The Beach I can meet new people and play. And I get to play bingo — I love bingo!" - Stollery kid Cameron

Building a bigger, better Beach so that Stollery kids can be kids

The Beach play area is a vital part of a child's and family's journey at the Stollery Children's Hospital. Play is crucial to a child's development and when offered in a specialized health setting like the Stollery, the benefits to that child's care and recovery, and long-term physical and mental health are undeniable.

That's why we're launching a campaign to raise $5 million over three years to fully renovate and expand The Beach. This necessary upgrade will include construction of an attached, state-of-the-art, outdoor play area that will more than double the existing 1,500 square foot Beach space, last renovated in 2007. The expansion will also make the play space and daily programming more accessible to both young children and youth.

New outdoor play area

Located on the 4th floor of the Walter C. Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre within the University of Alberta Hospital, The Beach renovation includes plans to construct a secure, multi-use outdoor space for kids and youth to play and participate in family-centred care programs. The outdoor space will be used for physical activities and therapy programs, as well as a comfortable place for kids and families to gather and connect outside of the Hospital rooms and units.

Health benefits for kids and youth

At its heart, The Beach is a fun place within the Stollery that allows kids to be kids in between the many medical appointments, tests and surgeries. At its best, The Beach is part of the Stollery's expert Child Life program that delivers specialized, life-changing therapeutic programs for kids and families, such as art and music, that have proven long-term health benefits.

Play has a special therapeutic value for children who are sick or injured by contributing to their overall physical and emotional well-being. Play, when used in the context of treatment, can significantly help to improve a child's motor functions, reduce stress, alter mood and provide a sense of normalcy within the hospital setting. The Beach also helps pediatric patients and their families adapt to the often overwhelming hospital experience.

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To learn more about this exciting project, please contact Sue McCoy at 780.431.4605.