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Celebrities launch the GOSH Charity Play Date: how you can take part in July

Help raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital

phoebe dynevor
Sophie Hamilton
Sophie HamiltonParenting Editor
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Celebrities including Dame Helen Mirren, Phoebe Dynevor and Matt Lucas have joined forces with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH) to celebrate the importance of play.

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The children's charity is holding the GOSH charity play date in July - a new fundraising initiative to raise money to support seriously ill children treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and you can get involved by hosting your own play date.

The charity is encouraging children and their caregivers to host play dates at home, in a garden, at school, nursery or a local club on a day of their choice.

Guests will be asked to make a small donation to their hosts before joining in with the fun.

Each donation will support GOSH’s dedicated Play team, which is made up of Play specialists and Play workers who help children make sense of their treatment and recovery through techniques such as role play, drawing and practising procedures on toys.

helen mirren

Dame Helen Mirren       Photo credit: David Venni

Seven British stars are supporting the campaign: Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Mo Farah, Phoebe Dynevor, Jonathan Bailey, Matt Lucas, Luke Evans and Angela Griffin.

The stars have shared memories about their favourite childhood games to inspire families, friends and childcare groups to get together and host a GOSH play date.

Dame Helen Mirren revealed her most-loved game was 'Sardines', explaining: "This is where a group of people (preferably children) chose one person to go and hide in a house or garden in a reasonably big space. All the others wait for a count of 100 and then they all go off to try and find the hiding place. If they do, they must secretively join the person hiding, so no one else sees them, and this goes on until everyone has found the hiding place and they are all squeezed in there like sardines in a tin!"

Bridgerton actress Phoebe Dynevor said: "One of my favourite games was playing cricket with my family. I wasn't ever sporty as a child and didn't much enjoy school sports but playing cricket in the garden always felt joyful. We didn't take it very seriously and sometimes I just sat by and watched but it always marked the beginning of summer when we set up the wooden stumps."

While comedian Matt Lucas divulged: "I always loved Monopoly and was a terrible loser."

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GOSH Play Specialist Alanna Rudd said: "Play is so important in childhood as it helps encourage development. Children learn through play, exploration & imagination, and it can help them express their feelings when they may not have the words or confidence to share aloud."

Here at HELLO! we think this is a wonderful idea to help the children through play at GOSH.

To help support the Great Ormond Street Hospital Play team and their amazing work, participants can now sign up sign up to host a Play Date at

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