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Alton Towers Resort helps make unforgettable big splash for North Staffordshire Hospital

Alton Towers Resort has teamed up with the dedicated children’s charity for Merlin Entertainments, Merlin’s Magic Wand, and the University Hospitals of North Midlands to create a vibrant, truly unique and welcoming space for thousands of youngsters visiting the Children’s Centre.

The new exciting and colourful entrance foyer, which has been created by Merlin’s in-house creative specialists, will be unveiled on Tuesday, 28th January 2020, features an iconic flume boat from the Staffordshire-based theme park for children and families to enjoy, as well as an interactive wall play feature and immersive theming inspired by Alton Towers Resort.

The project, which began in 2019, aimed to create a ‘Merlin’s Magic Space’ that provides a warm, magical and remarkable welcome area to support children and their families visiting the wards. The finished space is now set to put a smile on the face of thousands of children undergoing treatment and medical care, thanks to the amazing transformation.

The project enlisted the support of Merlin’s Magic Making team, the unique inhouse creative team based behind-the-scenes at Alton Towers Resort who work across the globe delivering magical and amazing immersive guest experiences.

The Merlin Magic Making team have delivered several fantastically themed Merlin’s Magic Space projects, from innovative sensory rooms to state of the art mobile units to help support over 167,000 children and young people through the Magic Spaces programme.

"Coming into hospital can very daunting and a little scary so we are delighted that thanks to Merlin Magic Wand’s support we have been able to transform the entrance to our Children’s Centre into a colourful themed play area, complete with log flume from the original Alton Tower’s ride. It has made our large open entrance a more inviting and engaging environment making the experience of arriving at hospital as a safe, fun and non-threatening place to be and gives them somewhere to just be a child away from the clinical environment.”

Melissa Hubbard, UHNM Consultant Paediatrician

The new area is the latest in a series of projects delivered by Merlin’s Magic Wand, Merlin Magic Making and Alton Towers Resort for the hospital and its patients. Other projects have included the creation and installation of Alton Towers Resort-themed play and social rooms, an innovative fully-themed Mobile Entertainment units for those who are unable to reach the play and social rooms due to illness, as well as hundreds of tickets for patients to enjoy a fun-packed day out at the Staffordshire Theme Park, helping create precious memories and providing much-needed respite for children undergoing treatment.

“We have a long-standing relationship with the UHNM and it is an honour to be able to continue working with them to support the children who attend the hospital. We strive to create magical memories and make it possible for all children to access the magic of Merlin Entertainments. With each Merlin’s Magic Spaces project we come a step closer to our goal of creating more smiles, giggles and laughs all around the world.”

Erin Woods, Charity Manager of Merlin’s Magic Wand

Merlin's Magic Wand is a global charity that supports children facing challenges of serious illness, disability or adversity. They do this by supplying tickets and travel grants to enable children and their families to visit Merlin attractions, such as Alton Towers Resort.  However, some children are faced with conditions and circumstances that prevent them from making the trip, therefore the charity invest in and create Merlin's Magic Spaces.

The Log Fume at Alton Towers Theme Park, which opened in 1981, was decommissioned in 2015 to make way for the theme park’s latest rollercoaster, Wicker Man. The auction of its iconic boats raised over £22,000 for Merlin’s Magic Wand. One of the boats which has been lovingly restored, as well as money raised from the auction of the other boats, has been invested back in to the community to develop this new space.