Our work in this field was greatly inspired by what we had seen in Great Britain many years ago - which is not really surprising as Britain is generally considered to be the cradle of hospital playwork.
Qualified play-specialist are still missing in most of Czech children's wards - one of our Foundation's aims thus is to change it.
In 1999, we organised our first "pilot training course" in hospital playwork – more than 30 people (including several head nurses from paediatric wards in various district hospitals) from the whole of the Czech Republic took part in it. Successful participants then spent a week in London, visiting several hospitals and watching play-specialists at work.
In 2002, we succeeded in starting a longer and more profound and systematic training programme – in close co-operation with the Faculty of Humanities at the Charles University (Fakulta humanitních studií) in Prague and the Nursing School (Vyšší zdravotnická škola) in Plzeň.
The programme is based on foreign curricula but we had to tailor it to specifically Czech conditions and to the needs of our health care system.
First 15 students of the programme passed their exams in 2004 and received their certificates and ensigns in December; representatives of the British Embassy took part in the "graduation" ceremony.