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Local girl wins regional final of art competition

13 August 2012

5 year old Talitha Bisson, from St. Saviour, has been named the regional winner for the South of England category in the 'National Play in Hospital Week' art competition, which was recently judged by comedian Harry Hill.

National Play in Hospital Week, which will be celebrated between 8 and 14 October, aims to raise awareness of the benefits of play in the treatment of poorly children across the UK and this year’s event was launched by a national art competition.

Organised by Starlight Children’s Foundation and National Association of Health Play Specialists (NAHPS), the competition asked poorly children and young people to produce a drawing that illustrates how play in hospital helps them. Hundreds of entries flooded in but it was the drawing produced by Talitha that Harry Hill chose as the winning illustration for the South of England category.

Talitha, who is suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, has been undergoing treatment at Jersey General Hospital. She was encouraged to participate in the competition by the play specialists at the hospital and she produced a colourful picture of herself drawing, with the tag line 'Drawing makes me happy'.

During the judging, Harry picked out winners for each of the 7 allocated regions, which included the South, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, London, the Midlands and the North, and an overall national winner, which was 7 year old Chloe Jones, who is treated at Kettering General Hospital. 

Online children’s toy shop Letterbox has generously provided exciting prizes for Talitha and the other winners. In addition, the winning drawings will be used on marketing and publicity materials used to advertise National Play in Hospital Week.

Angela Jones, who is a play specialist at Jersey General Hospital, said "National Play in Hospital Week is a chance for us to demonstrate how important play is in the treatment of poorly children and the art competition was a lovely way for Starlight and NAHPS to launch this year’s event. We are delighted that Harry Hill liked Talitha’s brilliant drawing and are really proud that she has been named as regional winner for the South of England."

After the judging, Harry Hill commented "It was a great honour to be asked to judge the National Play in Hospital Week Art Competition with Starlight and NAHPS.  There were some great entries from across the UK and it was fascinating to see how each child had depicted the way in which play helps them when they are in hospital. Although they were all very different, each entry clearly showed that, whether it’s cuddling a teddy, blowing bubbles, or simply having a giggle, play really helps poorly children to cope with their pain and anxiety when in hospital."  
The Starlight Foundation grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.

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