Dan Notley, former Stevenson College Edinburgh Hospital Play Specialist student, has been awarded the Eve Latimer Memorial Prize for his innovative investigation into the role of the Hospital Play Specialist in meeting the needs of adolescents with profound and multiple learning disabilities, an area that play specialists are constantly struggling to address.

As part of their assessed work, hospital play students are required to produce a 6,000-word study on a topic of their own choice, related to Healthcare Play Specialism. Dan’s work was of an excellent academic standard but perhaps, more importantly, he showed a deep and sensitive understanding of the needs of adolescents who have complex health needs.

The Eve Latimer Memorial Prize is awarded annually by NAHPS (National Association for Hospital Play Staff) to a single student on one of the Hospital Play Specialist Courses validated by the Hospital Play Staff Education Trust.

Eve Latimer was a founder member of NAHPS and the Play Specialist movement. Eve is remembered for her innovative work at the Whittington Hospital in London approximately thirty years ago where she transformed a corner of a huge children’s ward full of bed-bound children into a wonderful play area and still managed to include all the children in her play activities. At that time she was working for Susan Harvey (of Save the Children Fund) who also became a great personal friend.

Early NAHPS study days were held in Eve Latimer’s own home. She then became Play Co-ordinator at The Hospital for Sick Children in Great Ormond Street, London. Eve was a pioneering Play Specialist who unfortunately died at an early age while still in post at Great Ormond Street.

NAHPS felt that the best way to remember Eve was with this annual memorial prize, and friends of Eve felt strongly that she would have been delighted to be remembered in this way.

Former Stevenson student, Dan Notley, was presented with the award at the Hugh Jolly Memorial Lecture on Friday 29 October at Great Ormond Street in London.

Hospital Play Lecturer at Stevenson College Edinburgh, Frances Barbour, said: “I am delighted Dan has been nominated to receive this award. He was an exemplary student, both in the class setting and in his hospital placements.”

Dan is employed in a children’s hospice as an Activity Worker, supporting children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. For some time Dan had wanted to train in the discipline of Hospital Play Specialism. He did this in order to help his professional practice and to develop his understanding of sick children and their families. Dan travelled from Wales on a weekly basis to undertake his studies, showing a strong commitment in reaching his goal.