- Date published: 11 Jul 2019 by James Barber
One of the many things we are proud to offer is hospital support. When it comes to families who might have a child with a life-threatening illness who spend a lot of time in the hospital, the help we offer is a lifeline.
A huge part of our support comes from our Hospital Support Workers like Amanda, who has been working with us for the past 8 years.
In our latest Q&A, Amanda shares the motivation she has to make a positive difference to the lives of the families she works with and why she would encourage others to become Hospital Support Volunteers.
How did you become a Hospital Support Volunteer?
I was already volunteering for Rainbow Trust in their head office and was told about a need for a volunteer within the Surrey Care team which I had previously expressed an interest in when I first approached Rainbow Trust in 2011.
What sort of support do you offer to the families you work with?
I will go to the hospital to offer support during outpatient appointments and I will also visit children who are in-patients.
During these visits, I will entertain the child who is poorly and keep them occupied as the wait can be long. This allows the parents to have a moment to grab a cuppa, talk to other parents and to chat with the nursing staff.
At other occasions, it gives the parents some time to organise other aspects of family life. Quite often, a sibling will come with the family - I ensure that they get as much attention as their poorly brother or sister.
During outpatient appointments, I will make sure that any prescriptions are handed into the hospital pharmacy as soon as possible as the wait for these can be very long.
After a long visit, the family do not want to be waiting even longer. Just having someone else to do some of the menial tasks including helping with the bags (and there can be a lot of bags!) means the parents can focus on more important things.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of being a Hospital Support Volunteer?
Seeing children smile and laugh when you know that they are having an awful time is incredible. Feeling like you are making a positive difference to families who, to me are inspirational is a humbling experience.
What feedback have you received from the families you have helped?
They are always very grateful with the help and support that they receive from Rainbow Trust, be that the Family Support team or the volunteer drivers that get them to and from appointments.
Would you recommend others to become a Hospital Support Volunteer? And if so, why?
Absolutely, even if you are just able to do a few hours as these hours will offer a family some precious time knowing that their children are being cared for by Rainbow Trust and as such, they are able to feel relaxed in the knowledge that their children are in good hands.
“There is nothing more rewarding than helping those in their time of need, feeling that in a very small way you are helping wonderful children and families in their most testing of times.”
Read more about our Hospital Support here.