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Tess Daly joins opening of Disney play area at Great Ormond Street Hospital

The underwater-themed outdoor space incorporates special lights and sensory elements.

TV presenter Tess Daly joined patients and their families at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for the unveiling of a new Disney play area for sick children.

The colourful, underwater-themed outdoor space, known as the Disney Reef and featuring children’s favourites Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Ariel and Finding Dory’s Hank, aims to provide somewhere young patients can have fun during their often lengthy stays.

Candace Livingstone, whose son Elliott spent what the hospital said was a record 400 days at GOSH on a mechanical Berlin Heart, said the special play area will become a haven for families.

Elliott, aged four, joined Daly to open the space.

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Patients, their families and hospital staff attended the launch of the outdoor play area (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Ms Livingstone, from Hampshire, said: “Elliott loves ships and Disney, and I know he’d have so enjoyed spending time here while we were staying in the hospital.

“I’m sure many families will see this as a haven, a place for their children to play and to relax. I know we’ll visit time and time again when we come back to GOSH for Elliott’s ongoing appointments.”

GOSH, which sees 618 seriously ill children arrive daily from across the UK, has enjoyed a long-running partnership with Disney UK following Walt Disney’s first visit in 1951.

The Reef, which incorporates special lights and sensory elements,  is part of what Disney described as its “global commitment to re-imagining children’s patient journeys in and out of hospitals”.

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