The children's activity room at Christchurch Hospital just got a lot brighter thanks to Year 8 Eliza McDonald's colourful donations.
Eliza spent hours carefully making six brightly coloured satin dresses and donated them to the hospital last week.
She made the dresses as part of her Year 8 Personal Project, which is entirely centred on the children.
Eliza has spent time in Christchurch Hospital herself over the last two years and knows what it is like to want to be someone else for a few minutes.
"Because basically, the only thing that is mildly amusing in hospital are the beds that move up and down, and they grow stale pretty quickly," she says.
"That is why I chose to create costumes for ill children. When you dress up, you step into another world. You can become a princess, a fairy, a pirate, and everything else just flies away."
Canterbury District Health Board child health services team leader Allie Bower says it is a heartfelt donation and appreciated the time and love that has gone into each dress.
"Eliza had to learn to negotiate patterns and material and sew these without any other prior knowledge of sewing," she says.
Fairy dresses hanging up in the activity room (Supplied)
Ms Bower says being able to play in hospital is particularly important when children are in stressful situations.
"It is a child's most important tool and helps them to make sense of their world."
The dresses covered all the bases to fit the infection control criteria. Ms Bower says donations need to be dust-free, durable, wipeable or washable.
"I have tried my hardest to give a few little girls in hospital the next best thing to a fairytale. I want them to have fun and, most importantly, be happy," Eliza says.