JUSTASK VOLUNTEER SERVICE
In Ireland, approximately 270,000 children are treated in hospital each year and about 100,000 stay at least overnight or longer.
Families travel from all over Ireland to attend hospital with their sick children. They can arrive exhausted from their long journey, stressed from trying to find parking and worried about the location of their appointment in a vast hospital.
On the back of this, it was identified by CHI at Crumlin a need to support families as they arrive for outpatient appointments, day procedures or admissions.
In 2006 the JustAsk Hospital Help Desk in Crumlin was established, a volunteer-led service to help families find their way around the hospital.
The JustAsk volunteers create a positive and welcoming environment for children and their families as they enter and navigate the hospital. The aim is to reduce stress for families and to provide a welcoming and child friendly service.
The volunteers accompany families to their destination and also provide information and practical help such as where to find a coffee shop, baby changing facilities or an ATM.
The JustAsk volunteers also provide play activities for children waiting in the outpatient department and A&E department.
Since this service was established, the feedback by hospital staff and families has been very positive. There has been a notable difference in the reduction of stress levels of families who have availed of the service. The JustAsk volunteers are invaluable and are making a huge impact on the families from all over Ireland who visit the hospital each day.