Kids’ volunteers help play, relax

2015-09-29 06:00
Friends of the Childrenand#039;s Hospital Association held a celebratory day to thank volunteers of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Friends of the Childrenand#039;s Hospital Association held a celebratory day to thank volunteers of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association celebrated its volunteers at its annual general meeting at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital on Monday last week.

For the past 37 years the hospital has depended on volunteers to help cheer up the young patients and to show them the hospital is not a bad place – rather a place where they come to be nursed to health.

This year alone the hospital has had more than 700 volunteers come through the door. The Friends Association (Focha) doesn’t doubt that the volunteers form a backbone for the patients’ recovery.

Volunteers are recruited locally but there are also international volunteers.Volunteers play with the children, read for them, help them to relax and take them for outings once in a while. They stay between one week and six months, spending an average of 60 hours at the hospital.

This is why the Friends took time to celebrate these volunteers.

David Stephens, director of Focha, says volunteers are very important.

“Besides the medical treatment the children get at the hospital they also need to be helped emotionally and helped to relax. This is what the volunteers do best. They really help to keep our children happy and, though some of them might be very sick, the work that the volunteers do with them is amazing. They really change lives by putting smiles on the children’s faces,” he says.

Stephens adds that the volunteer programme is a melting pot for cultures, skills and knowledge.

“This enhances the healing process of our children. Volunteers are active throughout the hospital wards and in the outpatients’ clinic. They change lives. They support the challenges of the healthcare system and support in nurturing the partnerships with communities,” he says.

Part of the celebratory day’s activities were special awards given to five volunteers who retired after a combined 101 years of service. Jean Harker (88) volunteered for 31 years, Claire Hoffman (71) for 29 years, Neville Atkinson for 29 years, Gwen MacCrae for 22 years, Joan Bryson for 10 years and Patricia Mentoor for nine years.

Stephens says there’s so much that wouldn’t be achieved without the volunteers.

“They really do a good job. They help heal a child. They give hope and care that is more than just medical care,” he says.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.