During this 2012 National Volunteer Week AWCH Thanks Our Fabulous Hospital Ward Grandparent Program Volunteers.
The AWCH Hospital Ward Grandparent Program began in 1987 at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network – Westmead.
The idea is based on the belief that the trauma of hospitalisation in a child may be lessened considerably by the presence of an adult with whom the child has a loving relationship. Because the parent sometimes cannot accompany a hospitalised child for varying reasons, such as distance, family and job obligations or parental illness, AWCH introduced the visiting ward grandparent scheme.
The grandparent volunteer fills a diverse role:
- Supports the child and often the family in a time of crisis
- Provides a means of communication between the child and the unfamiliar world of the hospital
- Entertains an often bored and frustrated child
- Provides stimulation at essential stages of development in a child who might otherwise become developmentally delayed due to institutionalisation
- Relieves the workload of a frequently over extended ward staff
- Gives the child individual attention and love that every child needs, especially when lying alone in a hospital bed
All in all our visiting ward grandparents do these and a lot more. Their ability to give themselves and be of immeasurable value to the sick child has surpassed our wildest expectations.
During this 2012 National Volunteer Week with the theme ‘Every One Counts’ AWCH pays tribute to the hundreds of ward grandparent volunteers who over the years have supported children and their families in hospitals across Australia.
Interested in volunteering?
Check out more information on the AWCH Ward Grandparent Program