Ground-breaking Magic Camp scheme helps children’s motor skills

Thursday, 07 August 2014

Magic Camp smile

Life changing research is being undertaken by students and staff at Oxford Brookes University, working to support young children with hemiplegia.

Oxford Brookes University and Breathe Arts Health Research have worked in partnership with occupational therapists and magicians from the magic circle to create an innovative two-week magic camp for children with hemiplegia.

Based on rigorous scientific research and clinical trials, the magic camp is designed to help children through practicing specially formulated magic tricks to build strength and increase independence required to perform everyday tasks.



George, 15, who attended in 2010 and will now be a mentor to other children, said: “My shoelaces used to take me about 5 minutes, but now I can do them in around 40 seconds.”

Dr Dido Green, reader in rehabilitation at Oxford Brookes said, "The Breathe Magic Camps provide an opportunity for Brookes students to be involved in ground-breaking research into the understanding of both the neuropathology and neuroplasticity of hemiplegia. Students also work closely with the children as they learn to overcome their movement difficulties to achieve greater independence in daily activities."

My shoelaces used to take me about 5 minutes, but now I can do them in around 40 seconds.

George, who attended in 2010

The programme has been recognised as a new clinical service by the NHS and receives multi-year funding from NHS Lambeth. Recently both NHS Wandsworth and NHS West Kent have also backed the scheme.

The camp culminates in a final show where the children perform alongside professional magicians in the prestigious Magic Circle theatre in London (Friday 8 August).

Breathe Magic has recently broadened out the programme to other areas, such as adult stroke sufferers and adolescents with mental illness.

More information about Breathe and the Magic Camp can be found here.



Photo courtesy of Gabriel Larmour