An illuminated model replica of the London Eye is one of the centrepieces of a multi-sensory room at the Evelina Children's Hospital which has been upgraded thanks to money and skills from staff at the observation wheel and its sister attractions.
Merlin's Magic Wand – the charity linked to the Merlin Entertainments group which owns the London Eye, London Dungeon and Sea Life London Aquarium – has donated £15,000 to Evelina Children's Hospital for the upgrade of its multi-sensory room.
The room – which features celebrity hand casts, an infinity mirror, seascape floors and walls with a submarine feature – was officially opened this week by Kate Hoey MP.
Staff at the three Merlin attractions in SE1 – as well as Madam Tussaud's in Baker Street – have been fundraising for the project all year.
With most of the work carried by Merlin staff, along with donations from contractors, the actual value of the upgrade is around £50,000.
The therapeutic play room is used by more than 30 families each week for activities tailored to the individual needs – as well as for a change of scene from the busy hospital wards.
"The children who use the multi-sensory room suffer from various serious illnesses and disabilities and need a safe, interactive space where they can be distracted," said Evelina play specialist Sue Pruden.
"The room was in need of improvement and modernising so when Merlin's Magic Wand approached us with this offer we jumped at the chance. The new designs and features in the room are just perfect and will be enjoyed and appreciated by thousands of families for years to come."
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey praised Merlin and its predecessors as owners of the London Eye for their enduring commitment to the South Bank community since the wheel opened 13 years ago.