In 2020, our Zoom Room was created as a means to continue providing support for children and families when COVID-19 restrictions impacted the provision of face-to-face support in the hospice. Two years later, the Zoom Room program has flourished, becoming an effective platform for children, families, staff and volunteers to connect through an online session of music, stories and activities.
In 2021, this program was facilitated by Helena, our Music Therapist and Leo, our Occupational Therapist. The Zoom Room has been running every Wednesdays since 6 October 2020. As the weeks go by, it has been wonderful to welcome some familiar faces each week and provide an opportunity for children and families to join from regional areas.
Music therapy is a research-based health care service that utilises music to actively support people with their health, functioning, and wellbeing. Registered Music Therapist and Zoom Room facilitator, Helena explains the important role music can play in a child’s therapy.
“Music enhances non-verbal and verbal communication, provides comfort, relieves distress, and provides opportunities for choice and control. A child’s wellbeing and quality of life can be enhanced as music can foster joy and happiness and music can also be adapted to support families to create a musical legacy of their child within end-of-life care.”
Some of the children and families have not previously been to the hospice, and the Zoom Room has been an enjoyable opportunity for children and adolescents to get to know and build rapport with our volunteers, hospice and Allied Health teams.
The Zoom Room offers a chance for children and families to connect with the broader Very Special Kids community, and our trained volunteers play a significant role in this. During each session, a volunteer will share an activity to encourage creativity and further strengthen the bond between children and our expert team.
The Zoom Room has also been an opportunity to welcome some special guests, and we were delighted to have 66 families attend when Delta Goodrem joined Zoom Room in September this year.
Occupational Therapist and Zoom Room facilitator Leo shares, “it was amazing to have Delta join our Zoom Room, the kids absolutely loved it! It was incredible to see everyone moving, singing, dancing and participating. We had some great feedback.”
To finish the year on a ‘high note,’ the last Zoom Room session of the year was attended by another very special guest, all the way from the North Pole.
Santa joined to spread some Christmas cheer, read stories, and sing some Christmas carols.
As Zoom Room has continued, our Allied Health team have seen the connections build between children, families and staff and witnessed greater participation and sharing throughout the sessions.
We are excited for what is in store as Zoom Room continues in 2021!