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An extraordinary day at Great Ormond Street Hospital Posted on 12th April 2017 by Dionne Fenech-Soler

An extraordinary day at Great Ormond Street Hospital

On Wednesday the 29th March I was lucky enough to visit Great Ormond Street Hospital charity (GOSH) and receive a guided tour of this amazing hospital. It really was an eye-opening experience for me to represent SECOM and witness the remarkable work that Whitbread have done to reach their target of raising £7.5 million for their chosen charity (GOSH). Since 2012 they have also been hosting and collaborating with their suppliers in an effort to raise £1 million worth of this gigantic sum via these partnerships so that they could reach their goal and build a new clinic.


SECOM have been a supplier of Whitbread for over 20 years now and we’ve been supporting them since the start of the partnership initiative in 2012 by contributing to their fund raising events e.g. donating gifts / raffle prizes, attending their conferences / galas along with participating in their charity golf days …all of which has helped strengthen our working relationship with them as well as contribute to our giving back to society.

So as I previously said it really was an honour to represent SECOM and I headed off to GOSH with really no clue of what to expect…however I’ll admit I was a little nervous at the thought of visiting a children’s hospital and I definitely expected to get emotional along the way but not because of the reasons I was expecting…It truly was an incredibly uplifting and rewarding experience which I thought would be great to share with you.


First I learnt the background of the hospital:

  • One of the top 5 children’s research hospitals in the world
  • The UK’s leading centre for treating seriously ill children
  • Home to the broadest range of dedicated children’s healthcare specialists in the country
  • Over 255,000 patient visits every year, with over 50% coming from outside London 
  • Partner with 65 hospitals from across the UK, sharing knowledge and running outreach clinics
  • Treat children with rare, complex and life-threatening illnesses. Often the hospital is their last hope
  • World leader in pioneering paediatric research, benefiting children worldwide

And then they showed us why the funding for the new “Premier Inn Clinical Building” is an absolute must and how live changing it would be for the children staying and the staff who work so tirelessly to care for these children.  The new building really is state of the art and will have:


  • Rheumatology, Dermatology, Immunology and infectious Disease Ward (15 beds)
  • Surgery Centre (24 beds)
  • Neuroscience Ward (8 beds),
  • Cardiac Ward (24 beds)
  • Integrated Theatres (2 theatres, 19 recovery bays and 10 recovery bedrooms)
  • Respiratory Wards (25 beds including 5 for patients with cystic fibrosis)
  • MRI and Nuclear Medicine


We met with members of staff and heard about their roles, everyone was so excited that the children will have their own big bright rooms with ensuites so their family and siblings can stay as well as providing the much needed privacy these families need. My group met with a Play Specialist whose role was so diverse from distracting children when having procedures to ensuring they don’t get bored in hospital by giving them lots of fun things to do. At the moment her playroom / magic craft area consisted of a cupboard like room that was crammed with crafts but nowhere for the children to sit…so you can imagine the absolute joy of moving so that she can get on with the best part of her job which she described as “helping a child overcome fear, or making their stay more enjoyable e.g. using toy needles to help a child overcome their fear for real ones is really rewarding and means a great deal to parents”.

I hope my blog/article has given you a glimpse into the amazing work Whitbread and their suppliers have achieved (which includes US) and we can all feel very proud of the work and difference we are making to GOSH. The “Premier Inn Clinical Building” is set to open autumn 2017. One last thing I would like to leave you with is this video:

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