Entertainers on the ward: Spotlight on Dave Morris of Key Create Wales

One of our entertainers Dave singing one of his own songs for the children on Rainbow
Dave singing one of his own songs for the children on Rainbow

Whether as a day patient or as an inpatient, staying on Rainbow ward can be incredibly boring for children. LATCH provides regular visits from child friendly entertainers for the ward.

One of our popular entertainers is singer Dave Morris, who is also the founder and director of “Key Create Wales”, which he runs with his wife Ellie.

Dave, who studied Theatre and Media Studies at the University of Glamorgan, has been working with LATCH since 2019. He enjoys entertaining the children.

“I absolutely love that we can reach more people in need and the opportunity to work as a partner with LATCH is truly magical.”

Dave usually arrives with a bag of stuffed toys, ribbons, scarves, his guitar and other instruments. He usually starts singing and playing with the children in the daybed section of the ward before visiting the inpatient playroom and patient rooms.

“The thing the children most enjoy is being able to feel welcome and comfortable to be creative, in any way they wish. Play time is wonderfully magical,” he says. “When they have serious concerns weighing over them, like they do on Rainbow ward, they need play more than ever.”

One of our entertainers Dave singing one of his own songs for the children on Rainbow
Dave singing one of his own songs for the children on Rainbow ward.

Being flexible and able to adapt is essential for entertainers on the ward.

Flexibility and the ability to adapt to different children are essential for Dave, who has a repertoire of songs he can fall back on including his own.

“In this job I mostly have no clue who I will meet, what their age will be, what needs they may have, what mood they will be in, and I have to be prepared for anything,” he explains. “It is sometimes a bit improvisational, which is something I love. When I think about what I’m planning to do before I arrive, I freak out a bit, thinking about “what if this and what if that” – it can go either way. But when the moment arrives and I meet the children, it just all fits in place and I move with their energy and try to facilitate their creativity as much as possible.”

His wife Ellie, who used to work as a teacher specialising in Additional Learning Needs, supports Dave, ensuring that the sessions he performs are not only to the highest standard, but also include educational content.

Younger children engage the most with Dave’s music and games.

The younger children tend to engage the most with Dave’s performance and musical games. Like four-year-old Lacie John who met Dave in August last year when he visited the ward.

“Lacie really enjoyed being active and being able to get involved but in her own time. She was quite shy to begin with, but soon when she was happy she felt comfortable and jumped straight into the singing and dancing,” her mum Jess Martin says. “Lacie was at the time an inpatient and so being able to have something different to do has really done her and us the world of good! She talked about the session for days telling everyone how much fun it was.”

One of the LATCH children enjoying Dave's songs and playing with a ribbon.
Lacie enjoying Dave’s games and songs.

Parents like Jess really appreciate the entertainment LATCH provides.

“It just makes something that all the children are going through that much easier! The children are smiling and happy to join in, they look forward to something exciting happening. As a parent to see your child going through such an intensive treatment is horrific, so when an opportunity arrives where they are able to smile and have some enjoyment means the world! It makes the whole process just that little bit easier!” 

If you would like to work for LATCH as an entertainer or know someone who would be great for the children on Rainbow ward, please contact: [email protected] – or contact Helen White at: [email protected].

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