MEDIA RELEASE: Starlight throws pyjama party to launch Deadly Threads to sick kids in Central Australia

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24 Jan '19

MEDIA RELEASE

24 January 2019

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Next Wednesday Starlight Children's Foundation (Starlight) will launch its new Deadly Threads kids hospital pyjamas with a fun pyjama party at the Starlight Connection Space at Alice Springs Hospital.

Captain Starlight and hospital staff will do an official reveal and handout of the new pyjamas to sick kids on the paedriatric ward, before joining patients to celebrate with cake, games and a BBQ in the hospital courtyard. Even nurses on the paedriatic ward will swap their scrubs for their own PJs to help foster the party atmosphere!

80% of sick kids (aged between 5-12 years old) admitted to Alice Springs Hospital are from regional and remote communities across Central Australia and many rarely have time to pack a bag, say goodbye to family or prepare themselves for admission.

These kids arrive to hospital with little or no spare clothing of their own to wear while hospitalised and feel uncomfortable and disconnected from their culture and country in the new, foreign hospital setting. Currently they are given a pair of blue standard hospital pyjamas which have no colour or detail and this simple article of clothing has the power to impact the kid’s mood, wellbeing and resilience in a situation that is often already filled with anxiety and fear.

To overcome this, Starlight has designed and manufactured colourful new pyjamas which come in four sizes and reflect a more culturally-inclusive design. The designs incorporate symbols from Starlight’s Indigenous branding and speak to cultural motifs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across Australia, representing the Starlight story.

4,000 Deadly Threads two-piece sets will be integrated into the hospital from January 31, and are forecast to remain in the hospital system for three years.

In line with Starlight's reconciliation vision, as set out in its Reconciliation Action Plan, Starlight's Deadly Threads project is a lasting celebration of Starlight's commitment to Australia's First People. The fabric design was created by Jenna Lee, Larrakia descendent and Senior Artist from Indigenous creative agency Gilimbaa and the artwork* represents Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children as well as all Australian children, radiating positivity and resilience.

Having expanded their services to Alice Springs last September, Starlight now has a permanent presence in Central Australia and surrounding remote communities through its Starlight Connection Space and Healthier Futures Initiative (HFI) programs.

The Starlight Connection Space provides a treatment-free respite for sick kids and their families, by giving families a chance to play, interact with other children and have fun. With aspects of the Deadly Threads design also being incorporated within the room, Starlight will continue to reinforce a message of inclusivity, culture and country, in a space that is culturally safe and welcoming.

Starlight's Healthier Futures Initiative (HFI) was established to improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait lslander children living in remote communities by increasing clinic attendance rates and encouraging healthy living practices through entertainment and play.

Each month, Starlight provides over 600 positive experiences to sick kids and their families through its Connection Space and Captain Starlight program at Alice Springs Hospital. Additionally, 380 HFI experiences are delivered to sick kids living in remote communities across Central Australia, NT.

Starlight is calling on the philanthropist and business community to help fund Deadly Threads to support the initial roll out in Central Australia and aid efforts to expand the project beyond the Territory to further support sick Indigenous children and families from remote and regional communities.

To help fund Starlight's Deadly Threads or for more information on sponsorship opportunities to expand the program, please contact Karen Hickling, Partnerships Executive WA & NT at mailto:Karen.Hickling@starlight.org.au | 0411 820 413 or visit www.starlight.org.au.

To attend the launch, organise an interview, or for more information, please contact:

Taylia Collis, PR Executive |
taylia.collis@starlight.org.au 02 9156 3502 | 0413 695 862

About Starlight Children's Foundation

Starlight Children's Foundation brightens the lives of seriously ill children and their families by replacing pain, fear and stress with fun, joy and laughter. Since its establishment in 1988, Starlight has expanded to become the broadest reaching children’s charity in Australia. There is now a Starlight Express Room in every children’s hospital in the country and over 160 Captain Starlights nationwide. This year, Starlight will refurbish the Starlight Express Room in Newcastle and the Starlight Connection Space in Canberra. Last year, Starlight granted over 530 life-changing wishes and delivered more than 574,000 Starlight experiences to sick kids and their families. www.starlight.org.au

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