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Monkey is now a business after stay in a Brighton hospital
A toy monkey, created by a mum to help her little girl through lung surgery, is now being used to educate children across the country about the NHS.
Education packs, booklets, a DVD and advice about the different ways the NHS works – all featuring Monkey – have now been sent out to almost 20,000 primary and special schools.
They cover subjects such as visiting accident and emergency, seeing a doctor, what a pharmacist does and the importance of exercise and eating well.
Helen Sadler, from Glynde, near Lewes, created the first Monkey Goes to Hospital book when her daughter Josephine was about to have lung surgery at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.
She took pictures of Monkey in locations around the hospital and added speech bubbles to explain what was happening.
The idea was to stop Josephine from being frightened when she came in for her operation.
Since then, Monkey has gone from strength to strength, with first hospital managers and the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvements backing the idea.
Mrs Sadler, 38, and her friend Audrey Fletcher-Price then set up a company called AhHa Publications to develop the scheme.
She said: “It has been a real rollercoaster. It started out as a simple idea and has simply grown and grown.
“Our education packs are tied in with the National Curriculum and we hope that all the children and teachers who use them will get a lot out of them.
“Josephine is doing really well now and it is great to think so many other children can now benefit from this character of Monkey.”
The packs target children aged between five and 11, with Monkey taking the helm with his NHS Explorers.
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