Volunteering at the Sydney Children’s Hospital
|"Whilst it is heartbreaking to see kids ill and less mobile, it is a reality we have to face and can only be overcome by supporting hospitals and foundations dedicated to raising funds for children and finding cures for the many diseases and illnesses these kids suffer from" – Emma Ward|
How did Emma volunteer?
Emma wanted to volunteer, so she participated in a community service program through her school. The program allowed her to experience a range of activities in a short period of time that contributed to the hospital as a whole.
What did she do?
Throughout the program Emma was able to assist in a number of volunteer positions in the hospital. She helped out the administration with filing and relocated medical records, packed orders of equipment, and helped pack merchandise from the hospital foundation's fundraiser.
Her favourite activities however were those in which she got to interact with the hospitalized children. Emma contributed to the weekly mural, made balloon animals, and applied temporary tattoos, much to the delight of the patients.
How did Emma feel?
"It is a truly rewarding experience, even if you are given administrative jobs as you have the knowledge that a child's nurse or doctor will not have to do this and is able to spend more time helping the kids…the spirit and charisma of all the children is invigorating and it becomes impossible not to smile when these seriously ill children seem so happy despite whatever condition they may have."
What did Emma gain?
"Through participating in this program I have realised how fortunate I am and how much my help, as well as others, is truly needed. Many of the children and families at the hospital are in need of a helping hand in this difficult time in their lives; however there is a shortage of people willing to give up their time for a good cause. The help is not only appreciated by the patients and their families, however the staff whose time would be better spent looking after their patients than doing administrative things."
Emma’s recommendations and advice
"I would highly recommend to anyone wishing to take part in a community service program or volunteer for an organisation to contact their local children's hospital and see if there are any opportunities for you to partake in a program within the hospital."
"At times you may experience an eye opening or confronting situation when you are interacting with the children or reading brochures on some of their stories."
About the Sydney Children’s Hospital (SCH)
Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick and Community Child Health Services encompass an acute care facility as well as associated outreach and community based services. The SCH also looks after a local community for all matters relating to child health, including a range of community services.
Sydney Children's Hospital aims to improve the health and wellbeing of children and their families through promoting wellness and caring for illness efficiently, effectively, compassionately and without discrimination.
Want more information?
The Sydney Children's Hospital Website can be accessed at http://www.sch.edu.au/
Information about volunteering can be accessed at http://www.sch.edu.au/help/volunteers/
This content is used with permission of the author, Emma Ward.