The company has donated 500 Tonies and heavily discounted Toniebox storytelling audio devices to children’s charity, Starlight.
Helping to bring play to children undergoing serious medical treatment, the Starlight Storybox programme provides storytelling toys, books and crafts to children in hospitals and homes across the UK. At a time when the charity’s storytelling team aren’t permitted to visit in person due to the pandemic, the Storybox initiative allows children to stay entertained through stories.
Pinky Laing, partnership & PR manager UK at Tonies, commented: ‘We are delighted to help bring a little respite to children who are receiving treatment during the pandemic and are proud to be part of Starlight’s Storybox programme.”
The Tonieboxes will allow children undergoing treatment to continue to hear their favourite stories and listen to songs. The Tonieboxes and donated CreativeTonies also allow loved ones to record personal messages, which can be uploaded via The mytonies App, allowing those receiving treatment to continue to feel connected to loved ones.
Dr Krutika Pau, director of Children’s Services at Starlight says the pandemic has meant that children in hospital have faced heightened anxiety and worry. “Through our initial work, we’ve found that Toniebox was a fun and engaging activity for families to do together, which helped them escape from the worries of treatment, relax and bond,” she explained. “From our pilot, we saw that Toniebox benefits children both in hospital and at home, and when using them we saw a decrease in negative emotions such as feeling sad and anxious, and an increase in positive emotions such as feeling happy and confident. Toniebox served as a welcome distraction during treatment and helped the children to feel relaxed. We are so grateful for Tonies’ support and hope many more children will benefit from this brilliant product throughout the year ahead.”
A health play specialist at Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital, who received a Toniebox as part of the pilot programme, added that, as well as keeping children distracted during procedures, the Toniebox helped them connect with the staff completing the procedure and provided entertainment for children who are isolating in their room.
Alison, mum to Lachlan who received a Toniebox from Starlight when undergoing medical treatment, said: “For children with learning disabilities such as Lachlan, the Toniebox is great as it has an educational element that is really exciting and interesting. Lachlan knows the Tonies that he likes. As well as the Gruffalo, he loves counting and numbers so he would choose the nursery rhymes Tonies that include this. We put it in his room at night time with his sensory lights on. It is a good indication for him to know that it’s relaxation time now.”
Pinky added: “Tonies is committed to helping children through the power and magic of storytelling. Our audio storytelling devices help to engage young minds, and we feel fortunate that we can help support and inspire children who are going through a tough time.”