They meet and greet visitors, keep young patients occupied and even provide massage therapy for stressed parents.
Now the volunteers at Sheffield Children’s Hospital have been given special recognition for their efforts with a national award.
The Investing in Volunteers quality standard has been presented to the hospital’s volunteer programme, in recognition of its success in recruiting, training and supporting helpers.
Scores of people carry out voluntary tasks at the children’s hospital, ranging from ‘meeters and greeters’ to play assistants, Scouts and members of the Red Cross.
Kate Stanford, who co-ordinates the scheme for Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved in volunteering at Sheffield Children’s.
“We have more than 100 volunteers at the hospital and without their input this would not be possible.
“We are incredibly grateful to each and every one.”
John Nelson, a meeter and greeter in the outpatients department, said: “It was a rigorous process to achieve the quality standard, but it demonstrates that the programme here at the hospital is very rewarding for all current and prospective volunteers.”
And Tina Dempsey, who has helped out as a Red Cross massage therapist for seven years, added: “Over the years we must have massaged thousands of hands, backs, necks and shoulders, but it’s great to be able to give people a moment of relaxation at what can be a stressful time.”
Volunteers were on hand today in the hospital’s main entrance, speaking about the roles available and the benefits of voluntary work.
Staff, families and visitors also got the chance to add their signatures to a giant ‘thank you’ card.