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Children and young people visit site of their new hospital

Since Cambridge Children's Network was launched three years ago, dozens of children, young people and families from all over the East of England have been involved in shaping the new hospital's design. We invited some of them to visit the site where the hospital will one day stand.

Under blue skies and warmed by the Spring sunshine, children and young people enjoyed a visit to the Cambridge Children's Hospital site. The muddy swathe of land is opposite the Rosie Hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. It is currently a hive of activity, with work well underway to prepare the land for construction next year.

A little boy with curly fair hair wearing a yellow hard hat and high vis jacket. Photos of people standing near a building site listening to a talk
Children and young people spent the afternoon finding out more about the Cambridge Children's Hospital site

The younger children, age 6-13, arrived first, with their parents and carers. Chris Wakefield from Cambridge Archaeological Unit talked about the history of the landscape. Behind him, the archaeologists were busy scraping away layers of earth to reveal the Bronze age and Roman field systems beneath. Chris explained that the soil had been dug away to the exact depth that our ancestors would have walked on thousands of years ago!

This was followed by a fascinating 'show and tell' of artefacts found on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and the wider Cambridgeshire area, with children having a go at making their own Roman-style pots.

Two archaeologists digging on a building site
The team from Cambridge Archaeological Unit hard at work

I am excited about the new hospital as there will be more toys and I won’t be so bored. I hope there will be some cool paintings on the wall. It was cool learning about the Roman pottery and prehistoric poo. I got to make the best pot of my life!

Walter, age 6
A young boy in a hard hat. A picture of an archaeologist talking to two children about roman pots while they are making pots. And two young girls making clay pots
All the children attending have been helping shape the Cambridge Children's Hospital designs

Later in the afternoon, members of our Youth Forum enjoyed a site visit and had their first face-to-face meeting. They got to work thinking about hospital school and particularly about how to reintegrate back into mainstream school after being poorly. Chaired by Fintan, 16, the team talked openly and honestly about their own experiences, all of which will provide valuable feedback for the development of our new hospital school.

Meeting people from the Youth Forum in person was definitely a rewarding experience, as we quickly bonded and generated some excellent ideas together!

Ann, 17
A group of young people standing by a building site. Young people holding up roman-style pots they have made
Everyone enjoyed making their own Roman-style pots with the Cambridge Archaeological Unit team

Ideas becoming reality. This will make such a massive difference from when I was in hospital, mixing physical and mental health together in a state-of-the-art designed building. Being there and seeing the progress was just amazing!

Luke, 16

Watch our montage of the day


Cambridge Children's Hospital will be the first specialist children's hospital for the East of England. It will be unique in bringing together the treatment of mental and physical health under one roof, alongside world-leading research.

Read more here

A building site seen from above
A view of the Cambridge Children's Hospital site