A while ago I read an article about parents wearing PJs when they do the school drop-off. Well, PJ fans look no further we have the perfect ploy for your pyjama acceptance - while helping to raise money for children with brain injury.
From 3 October, The Children's Trust will be celebrating Humphrey's Pyjama Week asking everyone to spend a day in their lounge wear and make a small donation to charity to help children through a difficult and life changing journey.
Before my involvement with The Children's Trust and through personal experience I knew a little about brain injury. Over the last few years since I have visited the charity's national rehabilitation centre based in Surrey several times meeting a handful of the 40,000 children who are left with a brain injury every year. Their stories, their bravery and their positivity have stayed with me ever since!
Acquired Brain Injury is the result of an accident or illness - anything from meningitis or complication from a pre-existing condition such as diabetes, to a car accident or a fall. Many children make a good recovery, but thousands are more severely affected and have to live with ongoing, long-term difficulties. It's an invisible disability - while many children may look fine and well, they're no longer the same child they once were - acquired brain injury can cause behavioural changes, emotional instability, impaired cognition and poor judgment to name a few of the challenges.
One of the things donations fund is the charity's play team. They work directly with the children, organising play activities and taking them on day trips - things that can make a crucial difference to a child's rehabilitation, which help distract attention away from their illness and treatment. They also help children settle in, rebuild confidence and raise self-esteem, while the health play specialists support them through medical procedures. Through play children practice the skills they learn in rehabilitation sessions in a fun and exciting way. Often children don't even realise the valuable progress and development they are making during these exciting and fun activities. With prolonged periods of hospitalisation what's important is children are given the opportunity to be children, not just a patient.
Josh was one of the children I had the absolute pleasure of meeting. In 2011, Josh, who was nine at the time was involved in a road accident. Doctors told his family to expect the worst and that he would never walk again. Josh's dad John spoke about how Josh has defied all the odds. Thanks to the rehabilitation, therapy and care he'd received at The Children's Trust, he's back in school and he's walking. He said his recovery was unbelievable.
So, why Humphrey's Pyjama Week? Children with brain injury spend a lot of time in hospital, some even spend years. Obviously this often means a lot of time wearing hospital gowns and it's a good day when they get to wear their own pyjamas. So Humphrey's Pyjama Week is a pyjama celebration, and it would be great if as many people as possible would get involved and help raise money for children with brain injury. So it's time to wear the onsie, stick on the stripey, fluff up the flannels and say okay to the PJ, all for a good cause. It won't be the same without you!