Radio Lollipop makes a welcome return to Southampton Children's Hospital
Radio Lollipop Southampton volunteers have returned to the children’s wards after an enforced break of two years and eight months.
The COVID-19 pandemic had prevented the team from visiting youngsters at Southampton Children’s Hospital since March 2020.
Now the volunteers have been allowed to return to what they do best; cheering up sick children through the healing power of play.
Thanks to generous donations from local companies and individuals, the team went armed with a trolley load of brand new toys, games and craft activities to entertain the young patients.
Tina Jones, Radio Lollipop Southampton Trustee, said: “It is so good to be back. We received a very warm welcome from children and staff alike. Now we are looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and expanding our volunteer base – watch this space!”
The team underwent refresher training provided by the voluntary services team at University Hospital Southampton to ensure everyone was up to date with current infection prevention policy, safeguarding, health and safety, and other procedures.
It also provided an opportunity for volunteers to be refreshed with Radio Lollipop’s standards, policies and procedures.
Tina added: “We are very grateful to the voluntary services team who supported us in our return and kept us updated while we were unable to visit the children.
“Our thanks also go to everyone who kindly donated new craft packs, puzzles, books and games. It was a lovely feeling stocking up with fresh supplies and picturing the children’s smiles and reactions.”
The Radio Lollipop Southampton team plans to return slowly, visiting two children’s wards initially every Thursday evening, with a view to expanding once more volunteers have either returned or been recruited.
The visits make a huge difference to young patients, their families and the nursing staff. Radio Lollipop provides a much needed and fun distraction to what can be a long, boring and sometimes scary day.
Radio Lollipop is now looking to expand its team of volunteers so that it can reach more sick children each week.
Anyone interested in getting involved with Radio Lollipop Southampton should contact the voluntary services team at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust on 023 8120 4688.