Disney to fund cinema for sick children at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Disney will be funding a new state-of-the-art cinema for poorly children and their families at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Disney chief executive Bob Iger made the announcement during a visit to the London hospital on Monday.

The new MediCinema will allow hundreds of sick children and their families to “immerse” themselves in the cinema experience, while being cared for at the hospital, Disney said.

The film screenings are said to help ease the stress and anxiety felt by children staying in hospital.

Bob Iger at Great Ormond Street Hospital
Chief executive of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, visits Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (Belinda Jiao/PA)

Mr Iger broke the news by surprising the hospital’s staff and patients alongside lifesize mascots of the “emotions” from Disney and Pixar’s latest film, Inside Out 2.

He also said that patients at the hospital, and those from nearly 500 children’s hospitals around the world, will be among the first to see the film before it hits cinemas in June.

The new cinema is in addition to a 100 million dollar (£78 million) effort, launched in 2018, to improve the patient experience in children’s hospitals around the world.

MediCinema, a charity part-founded by Disney, has spent 25 years building and running cinemas equipped with space for beds, wheelchairs and medical equipment.

Mr Iger said: “We hope that this new state-of-the-art MediCinema will bring moments of happiness and joy to the children and families who need it most, and we look forward to continuing to bring the magic of Disney to life in children’s hospitals around the world.”

Matthew Shaw, chief executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital (Gosh), said: “Coming to hospital isn’t just about appointments, stethoscopes and tests, we want it to be about children and their families, with a bit of syringe painting, singing and therapy dogs thrown in for good measure.

“Our staff go above and beyond to try and ensure children feel as welcome and as comfortable at Gosh as possible, and we’re delighted Disney is continuing to make our hospital that bit more special.”