Hospi was developed in 2008 by Wellington Hospitals Foundation and quickly became a much-loved member of the Foundation family and a very special part of the Wellington Regional Children’s Hospital team.
Visiting the hospital can be scary and overwhelming for young children. Hospi is brave and courageous and he has been there in person, or by way of a treasured gift of one of his soft toys, to offer a little care, comfort and courage to children and their families during this difficult time.
With his unique brand of cheeky joy and mischief, Hospi has brought much fun and laughter on his weekly visits to the children’s hospital. He’s shared photos and shaken thousands of paws, enjoyed playing and colouring with the kids, danced, dabbed and flossed and mischievously hijacked cleaner’s carts, walkers and wheelchairs – he has touched the hearts of young and old alike. But most importantly he’s often been on hand to help our incredible team of doctors, nurses, physios and play specialists by distracting children during painful or scary medical procedures.
If only in a small way, Hospi has also helped those children and families facing a life changing health crisis; and he will always have a special place in his heart for those dear friends who are no longer with us.
With the help of doctors and nurses from the children’s hospital, Hospi’s Annual Christmas Clinic has also been a roaring success as kids eagerly lined the streets to bring their Hospi soft toys for a Well Health Check. The Foundation team have also been very grateful to have Hospi’s help during other fundraising events, especially in the last few years as the new multimillion dollar children’s hospital – Te Wao Nui – has been built.
Fun images of Hospi have decorated our hospital’s corridors, not only bringing a little light-hearted relief but also helping patients and visitors to navigate their way around the large hospital complex.
As we look to the future in our new regional children’s hospital, Hospi will be working with his new friends Tiaki, Kowhai, Pico and all the other kaitiaki/guardians of the new Te Wao Nui Child Health Service, to ensure that tamariki and rangatahi will continue to be supported and cared for throughout their hospital journey.
From the tiniest baby to our older teens, Hospi has helped and connected with a generation of kiwi kids and I’m sure you’ll join us in thanking Hospi for his incredible mahi.
We look forward to seeing him from time to time as he helps the Foundation support the hospitals served by Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley district.