ACT News

Hospital heroes put a smile on children's faces

Children at the Canberra Hospital's women and children's ward were surprised to see a number of superheroes with sponges hanging outside their windows on Wednesday morning.

Abseilers from a local window cleaning business shed their overalls for Spiderman, Batman, Buzz Lightyear and Ninja Turtle costumes to bring laughter and smiles to those fighting illness and injury.

Rope Access Engineering employees dress up to entertain the children at Canberra Hospital.
Rope Access Engineering employees dress up to entertain the children at Canberra Hospital. Photo: Matt Bedford

James Howe, general manager of Canberra based Rope Access Engineering, said this was the first time his staff had dressed in costume while cleaning the windows of some of the city's tallest buildings.  

"We just wanted to cheer the kids up as many of them are having a tough time in hospital," he said.

Kaylah Field, 12, gets a visit from Spiderman.
Kaylah Field, 12, gets a visit from Spiderman. Photo: Matt Bedford

"The idea was just to put a smile on their faces, even if it was just for a day or a short moment."

Mr Howe said he became emotional when receiving feedback from some of the families of children being treated at the hospital.  

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"A few parents came up afterwards and thanked us for deciding to do this. They said it put an unexpected smile on their kid's faces," he said.

"It was pretty touching and really nice feeling for all involved."

Rope Access Engineering employees Clifford Bourke and Time Greschke dress up to entertain the children at Canberra Hospital.
Rope Access Engineering employees Clifford Bourke and Time Greschke dress up to entertain the children at Canberra Hospital. Photo: Matt Bedford

Mr Howe said abseiling companies across the world had been working in costumes outside hospitals for years and there was no reason it could not happen regularly in Canberra.

"We'll be here cleaning the hospital windows until early next week although we'll only be in costumes until tomorrow morning while we're outside the kid's windows," he said.

Tim Greschke of Rope Access Engineering in a Spiderman costume at Canberra Hospital.
Tim Greschke of Rope Access Engineering in a Spiderman costume at Canberra Hospital. Photo: Matt Bedford

Mr Howe said abseiling from the roof of the hospital was safer than many would think – even while in costume – and the superheroes had extensive training.