Volunteers are needed to join the play team at St Luke’s General Hospital for Carlow and Kilkenny.
Children in Hospital Ireland is hosting an information evening locally later for anybody who might have a couple of hours free each week.
Elizabeth Morrin is the CHI Volunteer Manager and has been telling KCLR News; “It’s a wonderful opportunity, we have volunteers who go into St Luke’s Hospital for two hours a week on a regular shift, they’re providing play for the sake of play, it’s not an intervention or anything medical, so we really need volunteers who are willing to get down on the floor, have some fun, play a game, be a bit silly, no experience working with kids necessary, just a willingness to get involved and have some fun”.
She adds; “It’s great fun, great sense of team and camaraderie amongst our volunteers, volunteers go in as part of a pair so you’re never alone and it’s a great resource for children and for parents to be able to take some respite, to have a piece of normality, a bit of home away from home while they’re in hospital”.
The importance of play can’t be overstated – Elizabeth says; “It helps to reduce anxiety, to reduce boredom, to make experience in hospital a more positive one since children, particularly in St Luke’s and in regional hospitals, they’re stay might be quite short, might be a day surgery or something where they’re in for a day or a couple of days and they’re home again but we want every experience to be a positive one so that the next time that they need to go in that we’ve reduced that fear and we’ve built a relationship and connections to make every hospital experience a positive one”.