What is Fun on Four?
Fun on Four is a continuation of our Megazone facility at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH). The Megazone facility at PMH provided hours of fun and entertainment since it opened in March 1999 to ‘Heal through Happiness’. In addition to access to toys and play equipment the Megazone was used to provide a range of activities such as face painting, balloon twisting, art workshops and family BBQs. A number of celebrities, sports stars and colourful characters visited Megazone over the years, helping to bring joy to sick children.
Fun on Four is the continuation of the Foundation’s long history of funding innovative equipment and programs at the hospital, with this precinct offering inpatients and outpatients, their siblings and family and friends a place for some enjoyment away from the clinical setting.
Fun on Four offers a range of purposeful play and recreation activities and creative learning environments for children and adolescents of all ages and abilities. Specialist areas such as art, craft and music areas; dedicated spaces for toddlers and teens; a sensory room; a cinema; an outdoor play area and a fully stocked Book Bunker which provides opportunities for children of all ages and abilities to find an activity that is pleasurable and meaningful to them.
Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Carrick Robinson explains that Fun on Four provides young patients and their families an opportunity to create positive experiences at the hospital outside of the clinical environment.
Through Fun on Four at Perth Children’s Hospital, the Foundation is committed to funding the creation and operation of comforting spaces for young patients and their families to spend time in while they are receiving care at the hospital. Our aim through Fun on Four is to provide opportunities for children, young people and their families to have positive experiences in the hospital, while supporting the diverse developmental, psychosocial and physical needs of young patients.
In keeping with the tradition of the recreation space at the hospital being a fun and interesting place to linger, mini events and activities will ensure children do not miss out on special occasions just because they are in hospital. Activities planned around Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Book Week, NAIDOC week, and Halloween are examples of the type of things that are on the Fun on Four events calendar.
In the first month of operation, Fun on Four had over 7000 people through the doors to come and have some fun! This is a significant number of children and their families who are able to experience some happiness and escape from the wards. We believe this is just the start for Fun on Four and that there are many, many children and families who will come and experience the joy for themselves for many years to come!
What happens in Fun on Four?
Fun on Four is open from 7.30am to 7.30pm on weekdays and from 7.30am to 6.pm on weekends and is always buzzing with energy! Every day there are art and craft activities set up, board games out, a gaming room with Playstations and Xboxs running, an outdoor playground to explore, a basketball court to shoot some hoops, toddler bikes to ride, a toddler corner with toys for the little ones, a cubby house, the Book Bunker full of books, a music room for recording your own music and a cinema to catch a movie – lots to keep everyone entertained!
We also have an amazing face painter who comes in regularly to add some colour and glitter to everyone’s faces! We regularly have special guests in the space who add a lot of excitement and energy to the area. We have been lucky enough to already host Brickman, Mister Maker, the West Coast Eagles football players and a number of fun children’s entertainers including magicians, clowns and balloon twisters!
Fun on Four is used as a hub to host Perth Children’s Hospital Artist in Residence Program which involves artists coming to Fun on Four to run creative workshops. We have music programs running where children can learn to record their own music and stop animation movies where children create their own plasticine characters to then film. It’s so special that the children can then take home a copy of their music or their movie to show their family and friends!
Our generous sponsors
There are a number of generous sponsors and donors who help make Fun on Four the amazing place it is today. Every donation is greatly appreciated and goes a long way to help the Foundation staff the space, purchase art and craft resources and the general running of an area that sees up to 400 people in a day.
Our founding and major sponsors, be giving, Big W and Bank of Queensland have been incredibly generous in helping Fun on Four since its opening on June 11, 2018. Corporate sponsors not only generously donate funding but also their staff’s time, coming into Fun on Four to run activities and meet the children that they are helping to ‘heal through happiness.’
There are a number of spaces in Fun on Four that have been specifically sponsored by some corporate sponsors. These include:
- Event Hospitality & Entertainment Ltd have sponsored the Indoor Cinema where you can go and grab a beanbag to watch a movie! Movies screen twice a day and there is Foxtel in between shows.
- Scholastic Australia have sponsored the Book Bunker where you can curl up in a book nook and read all day. Children are also able to borrow books and take them back to the ward to read in their room.
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia have sponsored the Sensory Room that provides a space for children who enjoy sound, light and motion stimulation to help stimulate, relax, calm or energise themselves.
There are a number of sponsorship opportunities available with the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation. If you are interested in becoming a corporate sponsor of Fun on Four and would like more information on tailored sponsorship opportunities, please contact Karen Kagi on 6456 5555 or via email.
How can you help?
The children love having performers and talented visitors come to entertain them. We have had all sorts of people donate their time; from yoga sessions, outdoor fitness classes, balloon artistry, face painting, magicians, musicians, all are greatly appreciated. We really value when people with unique and entertaining skills offer up their time to entertain and encourage the children. It is always a highly anticipated event and is published throughout the hospital’s patient entertainment system. This is a particular highlight for inpatients who have long stays in hospital and have something to look forward to during the week. Fun on Four is always fun but it is extra special when we have external entertainment in!
If you are an entertainer, performer, magician, artist or sportng personality and would like to volunteer your time at Fun on Four we would love to hear more. Please contact our Operations Manager, Emma Bloxsidge, on 6456 5647 or via email.
We rely on volunteers to help make Fun on Four a great place for all families! There are full time staff who work in the space but with up to 400 people coming through on any one day we need more helpers to assist with art and craft, playing UNO, changing Xbox games over and having fun with the kids!
If you would like to volunteer at Fun on Four please head to our Volunteer page where you can register your interest. You will be placed on a wait list and then invited to our next volunteer meet and greet event where you can find out more about the position and start the induction process!
Who works at Fun on Four?
We have a number of staff who work hard to make Fun on Four happen including full time, casual staff and volunteers. We are a team with a range of skills and experience that are all essential to the development and continuation of a positive service to the Perth Children’s Hospital community. Say hello to them next time you’re in! They all love their job and this is why:
Shannon is the Fun on Four Director and joined the Foundation in 2018. She is a speech pathologist with a PhD in psychology and has previously worked in health systems management, tertiary education and as a community based rehabilitation trainer for the Australian Red Cross in Cambodia. – “I love being in the new hospital and hearing children run into Fun on Four telling their parents ‘Come on! It’s this way!’ It is really special to be a part of creating a magical environment that is fun, welcoming, entertaining and a special place for children and their families to escape to.”
Emma, Operations Manager
Emma is the Fun on Four Operations Manager and has been with the Foundation since February 2017, previously managing Megazone at PMH and now Fun on Four; planning all the fun and entertainment for patients, siblings and their families. Emma previously spent 13 years managing and working within a childcare centre and for six consecutive years she was nominated as an Educator of the Year by her fellow co-workers, families and children she cared for! “I believe every child has the right to grow up in an environment where they can reach their full potential, so providing a space where children can get away for the clinical environment and be a child is wonderful!”
Debbie is one of the Activity Coordinators at Fun on Four and has worked in the recreational area of the hospital for 15 years, previously at PMH and now at PCH. She is incredibly creative and is the one who ensures Fun on Four is always decorated well and has fun craft stations set up. “I love coming to work to see the patients and their families. It melts my heart to know that I have made a small difference in their day to make them smile and feel better. I’m truly blessed to have such a unique and inspiring position here at PCHF’s Fun on Four.”
Mia, Activity Coordinator
Mia is one of the Activity Coordinators at Fun on Four and started with the Foundation in April 2018. Prior to this, Mia worked in childcare for eight years and disability services for almost two years. “I have greatly enjoyed my time here so far. It makes me happy to know that I put a smile on children and families faces. Working for the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation means the absolute world to me due to my two very special nephews; Isma & Arish who are supported by the Foundation.”
What are people saying about Fun on Four?
“Wow! Wow! Wow! Having my little man see Debbie in Fun on Four made him so happy considering yet another admission. Having Deb’s smiling, friendly face all the time has been a god send. Without the experiences Deb has given my son Oskar I think he would always associate hospital with pain and trauma.”
“This space is just mesmerising and amazing for the patient and all his siblings after our weekly visit. Four visits now and counting! Thank you for the smiles and care provided.”
“Fun on Four is a wonderful addition to PCH. We came on the weekend after an ED visit and staff are so welcoming and warm. Well done Lisa and Emma, you were so kind in a time of need.”
“Thank you to the lovely Fun on Four staff members that greeted my family and I this morning. I had six children to sign in and the lady (Mia) helped by signing them in for me whilst I tended to the children. Thank you to the lady at reception (Emma) for explaining how Fun on Four works. They both went out of their way to show me around, especially when I had six little children. I will definitely be back. Thanks girls, from a very happy mum!”
For more information
If you have any feedback on your experiences at Fun on Four or would like to get in touch, please contact Director of Fun on Four, Shannon Whitwell on 6456 5535 or via email.