Jo, Parent and patient support

Watch this Great Ormond Street video podcast to hear from Jo about her role as a parent and patient support - a volunteer at the hospital.

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I missed interacting with children

I enjoy working with kids, years ago I used to work for a theatre company, and when I stopped working there was a hole. I missed interacting with children.

I got in touch with Great Ormond Street asking if I could volunteer and it really has filled that void because I can talk to the children, talk to the parents, I’m just really enjoying it.

Being able to help the staff, help the parents more, and just be an agent for the staff because they are so busy. 

That’s, the more and more you do it, the more you get confidence that you can do these things.
It is like a little family, because when you put all the parents together, and they’re all going through this treatment together, they all talk about it, and it’s quite harrowing for them.

Somebody to offload on to

We just get involved with them. As one father said: “It’s really good, I can chat to you to my heart’s content because you’re a volunteer.” They can get rid of all that tension sometimes by just talking about anything. About things at home, just general things, it’s just somebody to offload to, because the staff are quite busy which you can understand running around that wards all the time.

One of the children is leaving here tomorrow, and they’re having a little party for him. It’s the end of the treatment and it really is something quite fantastic. I have been through weeks and weeks and months of traumas and you get to this stage now and that’s the biggest reward –when they go home.