My Friends - Monkey Wellbeing

My Friends

“I really liked reading the book (Monkey has an operation), it was interesting and funny. I understood what would happen. It’s cool. The operation went well. The pain is getting better now.” AC
“The hospital were amazing. He had his own room and they let me go with him for the anaesthetic. They were full of praise for him.” AC’s foster carer

AC and his foster carer

I just wanted to say that we picked up a copy of Monkey has an Asthma Attack at our GP surgery and I think it’s an absolutely fantastic idea! Our son has been in hospital several times with asthma and it’s such a miserable time for everyone. We’ve just read it tonight after 4 nights in hospital and it really helps him talk about it. I want to be able to discuss asthma and the story gives us the opportunity to talk about things like the cannula/nebuliser etc in an anecdotal way.

Kirsty and her Son

“In January Munchkin fell down the stairs. It was a nasty fall and he ended up being taken to hospital in an ambulance as he was vomiting and lost consciousness…I think that he was able to process what had happened a little better with the information he learned and he certainly remembered lots about his stay in hospital. It was evident as we worked our way through the book that he was a lot more comfortable now that he understood what had happened to him – to the point that he spent yesterday evening building a hospital and treating his toys, carefully explaining to them what to expect.”

Claire and Munchkin, Six Degrees of Harmony

“My daughter loves her Monkey and we took him with her to have her needles she held onto him and told me “I’ll be brave like Monkey, mummy”

Tay and Niamh, Chicks that Read

“If only I had come across these books earlier, I would have used them for Mr T when he went in for an operation at the end of last year.”

Anna and Mr T – In the Playroom

“Last time I was in Maternity having George, Jack & Tom were in tears leaving after visiting time because they hated the thought of Mummy and Baby Brother being stuck in the scary hospital.

Now they aren’t worried at all!

Monkey was able to reassure them better than me that having blood taken was not a scary or painful thing really. And if THAT’S not scary, then maybe nothing else is either.”

George, Jack, Tom and Charlie – Mumma Walker

“I have been speaking to children and parents about the Monkey books given out by nursing staff when children attend their pre-operative assessment. Many families bring it with them on the day of their planned surgery which is really nice to see.

They all think it is great! One little boy had read the book ‘lots’, asked for his magic cream and had picked which bike he would go to theatre on!

Parents say they find it very helpful to have pictures of the actual ward as it helps their children to see the playroom etc as it is in the book. It reduces their children’s anxiety, prepares them for what is happening and makes their hospital visit seem exciting as they can relate the pictures to what is happening to them.”

Janet Hall, Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital

Ms C and I spent a good 20 minutes doing the Healthy Teeth activity guide. Inside this booklet, there are numerous puzzles, info about tooth decay, how to clean your teeth, top tips and many more. This is an interesting and useful activity book as both of us have learnt a lot…We find that the booklet is easy to understand and it’s great that is comes with photo illustrations, colourful pictures and games. Ms C enjoys reading it together with me and we both gained knowledge on each Monkey adventure.

Eileen, Ms C and Mr K

“The girls were really keen for me to read the books to them at bedtime; they were colourful and appealing and they liked the monkey character.”

Emma & her two girls – Happy Smiley People

“My favourite thing about these books is that they contain activities that engage the child and get them thinking about what hospital is going to mean for them in a positive way and show you the different hospital staff you may meet and gives details about each machine that might be used. Chunk enjoyed seeing what monkey was getting up to, and pointing out all the different things that were being done to him.”

Claire and Chunk, Single Parent Pessimist

“Brilliant! Made all the difference – combination of pre-op visit and repeated readings of book transformed my daughter’s attitude to the operation from terror to excitement. It was really helpful to be able to tell her about blood pressure monitoring, magic cream etc. in advance.”

Age 4 – 5

“Our son was having day surgery at 2 years. He loved Monkey and constantly asked for the story. When we arrived at hospital and went through the process he often said things about ‘just like Monkey’”

Age 2

The (Monkey’s Guide to Starting School) pack as a whole is great for educating your family about modern primary school life, and reassuring everyone about this next step.

Mama Geek and Georgie

“I love fun resources and stories which are educational and which children can learn valuable lessons from. If my children were ever booked in for a planned hospital visit, I would definitely purchase these resources, as they certainly would eliminate much of the fear and worry whilst giving children a realistic insight into what to expect on their visit or stay, through excellent photos and explanations.”

Ali, My Life My Love

“Monkey has helped Caillou feel a lot less scared of the doctor, and we feel very prepared for any future visits to the hospital.”

Caillou and Miri, Here We Are Together

“First we read the story called “Monkey Has a Blood Test”. This book was fantastic, it told Bethany all about how her blood is pumped around her body by her heart, and where to feel her pulse. It mentioned about why she may need to have a blood test, and showed all the different things they use to take blood. Then the book goes through the steps of having a blood test in a nice easy way for children to understand.”

Chloe and Bethany, Beth Bear Blog

I like the drawing stuff. It’s a really good idea – its given me something to do. It’s definitely kept her occupied and taken her mind off everything.

Would be handy to have before we came in though – the packing list is a good idea. The mums and dads have a list and a book of what to do and what to take, but the children don’t – you just have to tell them – this is such a good idea.

The grown ups get a guide book – I hadn’t thought of that – why don’t the children get one too… get them involved before they come in – it’s so important to talk about what’s going to happen – this would really help to do it as you can see the monkey in the hospital. What a fantastic idea.

Claudie age 11 and her mum

This is great – it’s good for anyone age 14 like me down to little children.

Good for people to know about hospitals and for people new to coming in to hospital. I come here all the time, so I know about it already, but it keeps you occupied. It’s good cos it takes your mind off worrying and being poorly. It makes it a happy thing – like a day out coming into hospital, like an adventure. I like the monkey

Ellis, age 14

“As you can see, the book isn’t just drawings of what will happen at the dentist, it’s real life pictures showing the shiny metal, the appliances and tubes etc. It is so good to be able to show them the chair, the other children in the chair along with Monkey and talk through the things that will happen. The book also talks children through the polishing process, an x-ray and having a tube put into your mouth to suck out any saliva….We love Monkey Wellbeing. I think this picture says it all. He’s a big hit here.”

Hannah Atkinson

In the days running up to our Special Needs Dentist appointment I read the book (Monkey’s Family Visit the Dentist) to Ethan and asked him to look at Monkeys teeth. He embraced the Monkey puppet and vocalised to the puppet about looking at his teeth…I’m pleased to say that this appointment was our best dentist appointment ever. We didn’t get Ethan anywhere near the dentist chair but he was happy to let the dentist come near him.”

Jane & Ethan

This book keeps you amused while you are waiting. It’s quite good as it’s about a monkey sharing experiences and he is sharing his experience in hospital with us – then we know what will happen.

It’s helpful for younger children who could panic and panic but the monkey has been through it so now they know what to expect and what is coming.”

Joshua age 11

“As a Mum, I had no idea where to start when introducing the idea of Nora needing an operation, both to her and her siblings. I was also dealing with my own feelings around the whole thing! I’d already started researching, I knew I needed to get the story right, an operation is a major thing for anyone to go through after all! It was during our pre op meeting with the consultant that we were handed the monkey book – a lot of care and attention was taken by the consultant to talk directly to Nora and go through each page with her. She came home sharing the story with her twin brother and big sister, telling them the exact picnic lunch she’d asked for and showing them the book. By the end, everyone was picking their picnic and car they’d choose to drive to theatre in. Nora chose to read this book every night and the operation became an excitement, everyone wanted one!

On the actual day of her operation, Nora’s siblings were clear on what was happening and Nora arrived at hospital excited about her day. We spent the first half of the morning settling in, colouring, playing whilst meeting the nurses and consultants. So far, so good. Then the time came for Nora to head down to the operating theatre, she knew this meant it was time to pick her car and was so excited. She ran out her room to pick her car and began riding down to theatre – this is when she held out her hand to hold mine – as excited as she was, it was clear she was slightly nervous about what would happen at the end of this adventure.

This was the first point I felt Nora’s nerves, albeit a small sign. But I knew. I can’t help but think that without the monkey book she would have felt them over a much longer period of time, and been really quite anxious by the time her turn came. And I would have started feeling that awful mother’s guilt that we tend to get, and perhaps dealt with the operation in a less relaxed way.

We as a family cannot rate both the monkey book and the processes put in to place alongside it (we searched the ward for all of monkeys pics, a great game!). All the medical staff spoke exactly the same language, referenced monkey and tied it all together in to a coherent story. It helped Nora, it helped her siblings and it helped us, her parents. Huge thank you for taking the time and energy to make these changes to the children’s hospital processes and for make what is essentially a ridiculously scary thing for kids and parents alike a lot less so!!

This is Nora, aged 4, taking herself down to theatre earlier this month.

Thanks again, we really are very grateful!!”

Suzanne and Kevin

“The books are simple and explain step by step what the child will expect when they go for an operation and I think it would put a parent’s mind at rest too.”

Tilly and Vicky, Being Tilly’s Mummy

Monkey's Guide to your Hospital Stay

Monkey has gathered lots of feedback on Monkey’s Guide to your Hospital Stay, an activity pack specially designed for Southampton Children’s hospital for a pilot project. Below you can find testimonials from children and parents involved in the pilot:

This is great – it’s good for anyone age 14 like me down to little children.

Good for people to know about hospitals and for people new to coming in to hospital. I come here all the time, so I know about it already, but it keeps you occupied. It’s good cos it takes your mind off worrying and being poorly. It makes it a happy thing – like a day out coming into hospital, like an adventure. I like the monkey

Ellis, age 14

I like the drawing stuff. It’s a really good idea – its given me something to do. It’s definitely kept her occupied and taken her mind off everything.

Would be handy to have before we came in though – the packing list is a good idea. The mums and dads have a list and a book of what to do and what to take, but the children don’t – you just have to tell them – this is such a good idea.

The grown ups get a guide book – I hadn’t thought of that – why don’t the children get one too… get them involved before they come in – it’s so important to talk about what’s going to happen – this would really help to do it as you can see the monkey in the hospital. What a fantastic idea.

Claudie age 11 and her mum

This book keeps you amused while you are waiting. It’s quite good as it’s about a monkey sharing experiences and he is sharing his experience in hospital with us – then we know what will happen.

It’s helpful for younger children who could panic and panic but the monkey has been through it so now they know what to expect and what is coming.”

Joshua age 11

In my 4 years of asthma nursing, I have found the resources from Monkey Wellbeing to be really useful. Not only are they colourful, easy to read and child-friendly, they are also unique in the way that they are designed. They are the first resources I have seen that are specifically written for children rather than for health professionals. This is something that I feel particularly drawn to, as a Children’s Nurse, as age appropriate education is key for promoting health and key health messages.

Monkey Wellbeing has a range of resources for children with a variety of health conditions, although we use these resources primarily for children with asthma and wheeze. Monkey’s symptom diary is useful for parents to monitor their child’s asthma and spot warning signs or red flags. They can then take this diary to their next asthma review or GP appointment.

Monkey’s Asthma Pack contains lots of child-friendly factsheets and posters, along with stickers and a certificate that encourages children to take their inhaler. It definitely makes learning fun!

Finally, the Monkey puppet is an adorable little friend, who can help little ones learn how to take their inhaler and spacer. Monkey helps reassure them that the process is nothing to be afraid of and is always really popular!

Jo, Children’s Hospital At Home Asthma Nurse, Croydon