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Saturday, 16 January 2021

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The Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation Publishes Children’s Book ‘Hatty the Hyena’

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The Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation (GNCH Foundation), is today announcing the launch of Hatty the Hyena, a new children’s book written to help educate patients, family and peers about asthma. The GNCH Foundation supports initiatives that help improve the health and wellbeing of the patients at the Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH), their families and the wider community.

Authored by paediatric doctor, Philippa Gaunt, the book is written entirely in rhyme and includes a glossary to help educate readers. The book has been illustrated by Sarah Dickson, who has worked on a variety of educational projects within The Great North Children’s Hospital.

Hatty the Hyena is available to purchase for £7.99 by emailing nuth.GNCH.Events@nhs.net.

Author and paediatric trainee, Philippa Gaunt, said: 

“Storytelling can be compelling, and I hope this project will help children and their families learn more about common medical conditions whilst reducing fear and anxiety about coming to hospital.  I wrote Hatty the Hyena to help educate children about asthma. The story follows Hatty who needs to go to hospital after having an asthma attack and describes what can happen when children come into hospital for treatment. I began working on the project in late 2018, and I am delighted that the book’s release has coincided with my rotation back to GNCH.”

The publishing of Hatty the Hyena has been funded by the Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation. Any profits from sales of the book will be split between the charity and supporting the development and publishing of future books focusing on a range of different long-term medical conditions. The proceeds the GNCH Foundation receives will help make a positive difference to the hospital’s young people, staff and the wider community through compassionate and innovative healthcare, education and research.

Illustrator, Sarah Dickson, said: 

“I initially started volunteering at GNCH as part of my Education degree at Newcastle University. Since then, I have been employed at the hospital and worked on a variety of educational projects. My most recent project has been illustrating Hatty the Hyena. Illustrating this children’s book has been a great challenge, and I have had so much fun trying to bring all of the characters’ personalities to life.”

The book is targeted at Key Stage 1-2 (ages 4-11), and it is hoped that such stories will help support children with asthma. The book is designed to empower children to take ownership of their medical condition by using storytelling to consolidate the important messages clinical staff try to promote during treatment.

Jane Melvin from the Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH), said: 

“I’m so pleased we are launching Hatty the Hyena for children and families thanks to support from the Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation. It’s great to see Philippa was inspired by both her time at the GNCH and our mascots, Fudge the Giraffe, Blaze the Rhino and Hope the Elephant. As well as supporting children with asthma through Hatty’s story, we’re really hoping that the book will be the first in a series to help educate and support children with long term conditions and their families.”

Hatty the Hyena is available to purchase now.

To find out more about the Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation, please visit https://charity.newcastle-hospitals.nhs.uk/.

Donations to the GNCH Foundation can be made via JustGiving: www.justgiving.com/gnch

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