The importance of play in the recovery of a hospitalised child is universally recognised. Children in Hospital Ireland has been helping to fill this role since 1970 and today over 400 Volunteers bring fun and enjoyment to children in many hospitals around Ireland.

Our Play Volunteers support child led play activities and create a fun environment for children. You will see our Play Volunteers in their red-t-shirts in the playrooms, on the wards or in the Emergency & Outpatients departments.

As part of our Volunteer Play Service we also offer the provision of “hospital appropriate” materials.

Many children, due to the nature of their illness, spend time in isolation units while in hospital and we provide infection control approved, age appropriate individual packs that can be given to children in isolation while in hospital. This means that their rooms are not passed over by play volunteers, ensuring that all children are included in the activities of the day as well as providing fun and stimulation.


“It’s particularly hard for those who are far from home and the service we offer makes such a difference to them. We wear red t-shirts or tabards so we are easy to spot.”

Volunteer, Crumlin

“We stop and have a chat, read them a story, tell them a joke. When a child is sick in hospital, providing entertainment is the last thing on a parent’s mind so that’s what we try and do. They’re unwell and they’re finding it all very scary. The play calms them and hopefully we offer a supportive and caring presence.”

Volunteer, Waterford

“I always say that the hospital is full of smiles and cries. There are days I go in and have so much fun. There are other days you go home with tears in my eyes. I don’t bring it all the way home. It’s definitely worth it.”

Volunteer, Crumlin