A HOSPICE charity that cares for seriously ill children across Hampshire has won a major national award.

The Naomi House & Jacksplace Play Team was presented with the Play Award at the prestigious Children and Young People Now Awards.

The awards recognise initiatives from the public, private and voluntary sector that work with children and young people.

It is given to the initiative that has done the most to offer children and young people the opportunities to play freely, enjoy childhood and contribute to their social, emotional and physical development.

Naomi House & Jacksplace employs six Play Team members who support more than 300 children and young people from across the south.

The team organise hydrotherapy swim sessions, music therapy, arts and craft activities, games, youth clubs, parties and trips out.

Huw Bromage, play and activities team leader, said: “Done well, play can empower and enrich the lives of every child and young person, regardless of medical condition or disability.

“My team believe that positive risk taking, inclusivity, innovation, and a person-centred approach can transform short lives on good days, difficult days and last days. We are delighted to pick up such a prestigious national award.”

Naomi House & Jacksplace hospices care for 325 children and young people from across Hampshire and the South. Opened in 1997, it offers respite, community, emergency, end of life and bereavement care.