BECOME A VOLUNTEER
Register your interest and complete our short registration form.
Children in Hospital Ireland volunteers directly and actively participate in making hospital a happier place for children! Please note that due to Covid-19 we have temporarily suspended recruitment. However, you may still register your interest and we will be in touch as soon as we are able to open to new volunteers in the future.
Children in Hospital Ireland holds group information evenings with informal interviews in each of the hospital areas once or twice a year. These include more information about the role of a play or JustAsk volunteer and the application process, a chance for you to ask questions and informal group interviews for us to get to know you a bit better.
After you have attended an information and interview evening, with a successful interview, you will be invited to attend a full day training. These are most frequently held on a Saturday from 10am-4pm at a venue near or in the hospital where you will be volunteering.
Your Volunteer Application
There is an application process which includes references, child protection training, Garda Vetting and a few other forms. If you have lived outside of Ireland for more than 6 months after age 16, you will need to provide a Police Clearance Form from that country (countries). These are especially important for child protection and safe-guarding.
It can take as little as a week for you to complete all of your paperwork. In some cases it may take longer, and we allow up to a year if needed.
PLAY VOLUNTEER SERVICE
The importance of play in the recovery of the hospitalised child is universally recognised. Children in Hospital Ireland has been helping to fill this role since 1970 and today over 400 play volunteers bring fun and enjoyment to sick children in many hospitals around Ireland. Familiar play activities provide reassurance and comfort to young children while group activities occupy older children who may be nervous or bored and help them to make friends. Volunteers work in co-operation with the Hospital Play Specialists and the ward staff, organising play activities in the playroom, on the ward, in the outpatients department and the A&E department. Play volunteers also facilitate play and activities for children who are confined to bed.
BENEFITS OF PLAY
We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw.
All children need to play. They also have the right to play: the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Ireland has ratified, recognises play as one of the fundamental human rights of children. Play for children in hospital is vital and it has the potential to provide a whole range of benefits, which are especially important given that the children are not only coping with an illness but adjusting to being away from home and their normal routines.
It’s a simple concept with enormous benefits as children admitted to hospital are particularly vulnerable, both physically and emotionally.
JUSTASK HOSPITAL HELP DESK
In Ireland, approximately 270,000 children are treated in hospital each year and about 100,000 stay at least overnight or longer. Parents often travel long distances to hospital with their sick children. Perhaps exhausted from a long journey, or coping with an unfamiliar environment and away from the support of family, parents greatly appreciate a warm welcome and helping hand on arrival at the hospital. JustAsk volunteers provide information and practical help to parents, families and children attending or staying in the hospital.
JustAsk volunteers also provide play activities for children waiting in the outpatients department and A&E department. We operate a JustAsk desk in CHI at Crumlin.