At a recent event, the Travelshoot team was lucky enough to meet Pip Russell, a woman who gives one of the best gifts we have heard of, regardless of whether it is Christmas or not.
Cue Juiced TV: the TV show made by the kids in hospital, for the kids in hospital. Pip, who previously presented and produced on national television programs Toasted TV and Totally Wild, now combines her passions with brightening Children's days at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.
We were lucky enough to catch up with this inspiring woman, who is no doubt bringing even more cheer to the children at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital this holiday season.
What is Juiced TV and why did you start it?
Juiced TV is more than just 'the TV show made by the kids in hospital, for the kids in hospital". It is a world-first entertainment and distraction initiative for kids in hospital, that offers immediate distraction within hospital walls, and produces a weekly high-quality program that entertains and educates patients and their siblings.
The idea came about during time volunteering at the old Royal Childrens Hospital Brisbane. After organising some events for the patients and families, I saw a unique opportunity to create, capture and share positive memories within an environment which is most often so traumatic. Using my 9 years of experience presenting and producing on Network Ten's children's shows Totally Wild and Toasted TV, I began to build the idea. We launched in January of 2015 at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, and since then have had over 1900 patients and their families involved in the filming and creation of our episodes, broadcasted over 135 episodes throughout the hospital and on our youtube channel, created more than 85 experiences outside of hospital walls and reached 2.4 million views on YouTube.
Next year we are starting our expansion to regional hospitals throughout Queensland with the 'Juiced Box' - our mobile application providing regional hospitals with access to the latest 80 episodes of Juiced TV. Our regional service will also involve road trips throughout Queensland to film with regional hospital's patients and staff, focussing on content specific to each hospital.
What is the best thing about your job?
Being able to interact with the patients and families in such a positive way. Offering distraction for the patients directly involved with the creation of the content and episodes, and knowing that we are helping to normalise hospital and connect patients and families is something extremely rewarding. We know that there is always so much more that we can do to give these brave kids back their childhood, and we are very grateful for the support of the hospital community and broader community who help us fulfil our mission every week.
How can people help Juiced TV?
Donations can be made to Juiced TV through the Children's Hospital Foundation - the link on our website is https://donate.everydayhero.com/d/oJlcLf_bUfyclKIEcGApog. All funds are allocated to creating our days of 'hands on happiness' at the hospital, experiences outside of hospital, and towards our expansion to the children's wards in regional hospitals throughout Queensland.
Favourite place to travel and why?
I recently just got back from a 4 week Europe trip to the Greek Islands, Spain and France. My partner proposed the night before we flew out, so needless to say we were ready to celebrate eating and drinking our way around each of these beautiful places. The Greek Islands are now my absolute favourite place and I recommend them to everyone. We took 11 days to travel through Santorini, Naxos and Paros - where the food, the friendliness of the locals and the scenery of each island was beyond what I could have imagined.
What are you doing with your Christmas holidays?
I'll be staying around Brisbane spending time with family, and getting in as many beach/bush walk trips as possible! With Juiced expanding next year and planning our wedding for April, I'll be using the week to recharge the batteries ready to take on the new year with as much energy as possible.
Next destination on the bucket list?
We'll be going on a road trip around the South Island of New Zealand for our honeymoon. Lake Wanaka, Marlborough Sounds and the national parks are all at the top of the list of places to visit!